The Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to examine innovative legal responses to intimate partner homicide in the UK, USA and Canada: Report
This Report presents the findings of my 2015 Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship. Over a 7-week period I visited England, Scotland, United States and Canada to gather knowledge on what Australia could learn from comparative legal responses to intimate partner homicide specifically and family violence more broadly. While it is recognised that focusing on the law alone is not sufficient in improving responses to and the prevention of family violence in Australia, the criminal justice system provides a key opportunity to hold perpetrators to account, to acknowledge victimisation and ensure a person’s safety, and to send a clear message to the community that family violence – in all forms – is unacceptable.
The findings contained within this Report are relevant at the national level and to all Australian state and territory jurisdictions. 22 recommendations are made. These relate to changes to practice, policy and law in Australia and elsewhere. The need for further research in particular areas is also highlighted with the aim of improving the evidence base to inform and enhance legal responses to intimate partner violence.