Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Mandatory protections for parties in certain cases

  (1)   If, in proceedings under this Act:

  (a)   a party (the examining party ) intends to cross - examine another party (the witness party ); and

  (b)   there is an allegation of family violence between the examining party and the witness party; and

  (c)   any of the following are satisfied:

  (i)   either party has been convicted of, or is charged with, an offence involving violence, or a threat of violence, to the other party;

  (ii)   a family violence order (other than an interim order) applies to both parties;

  (iii)   an injunction under section   68B or 114 for the personal protection of either party is directed against the other party;

  (iv)   the court makes an order that the requirements of subsection   (2) are to apply to the cross - examination;

then the requirements of subsection   (2) apply to the cross - examination.

  (2)   Both of the following requirements apply to the cross - examination:

  (a)   the examining party must not cross - examine the witness party personally;

  (b)   the cross - examination must be conducted by a legal practitioner acting on behalf of the examining party.

Note 1:   This section applies both in the case where the examining party is the alleged perpetrator of the family violence and the witness party is the alleged victim, and in the case where the examining party is the alleged victim and the witness party is the alleged perpetrator.

Note 2:   This section does not limit other laws that apply to protect the witness party (for example, section   101 requires the court to forbid the asking of offensive questions and section   41 of the Evidence Act 1995 requires the court to disallow certain questions, such as misleading questions).

Note 3:   To avoid doubt, a reference to a party in this section includes a reference to a person who is a party because of the operation of a provision of this Act (for example, sections   92 and 92A, which are about intervening parties). This section only applies to an intervening party if the intervening party is involved in the allegation of family violence, whether as the alleged perpetrator or as the alleged victim.

  (3)   The court may make an order under subparagraph   (1)(c)(iv):

  (a)   on its own initiative; or

  (b)   on the application of:

  (i)   the witness party; or

  (ii)   the examining party; or

  (iii)   if an independent children's lawyer has been appointed for a child in relation to the proceedings--that lawyer.

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