The head of Australia’s first royal commission into family violence, Justice Marcia Neave, has spoken of the huge task she and her team tackled over the past 13 months, including juggling extensive and sometimes contradictory evidence from more than 200 stakeholders to come up with a final list of 227 recommendations.
She has also acknowledged the areas that fell outside the commission’s scope and terms of reference, but which will be vital to address if family violence deaths are to be prevented.
But it was impossible for the commission to take on an issue such as family violence without looking at aspects of the system that the commonwealth has jurisdiction over, such as family law and the family law courts.
“It was difficult,” Neave told Guardian Australia.
“We don’t make recommendations to the federal government, but we do think there are areas the state government can push the federal government on.
“We can’t make recommendations about changing the Family Law Act, for example, but we know that the act can be dramatically improved and it is disappointing that hasn’t been done already, given previous reports … calling for change.”
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