Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Evidence relating to child abuse or family violence

  (1)   The court may make an order in child - related proceedings requiring a prescribed State or Territory agency to provide the court with the documents or information specified in the order.

  (2)   The documents or information specified in the order must be documents recording, or information about, one or more of these:

  (a)   any notifications to the agency of suspected abuse of a child to whom the proceedings relate or of suspected family violence affecting the child;

  (b)   any assessments by the agency of investigations into a notification of that kind or the findings or outcomes of those investigations;

  (c)   any reports commissioned by the agency in the course of investigating a notification.

  (3)   Nothing in the order is to be taken to require the agency to provide the court with:

  (a)   documents or information not in the possession or control of the agency; or

  (b)   documents or information that include the identity of the person who made a notification.

  (4)   A law of a State or Territory has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this subsection, hinder or prevent an agency complying with the order.

  (5)   The court must admit into evidence any documents or information, provided in response to the order, on which the court intends to rely.

  (6)   Despite subsection   (5), the court must not disclose the identity of the person who made a notification, or information that could identify that person, unless:

  (a)   the person consents to the disclosure; or

  (b)   the court is satisfied that the identity or information is critically important to the proceedings and that failure to make the disclosure would prejudice the proper administration of justice.

  (7)   Before making a disclosure for the reasons in paragraph   (6)(b), the court must ensure that the agency that provided the identity or information:

  (a)   is notified about the intended disclosure; and

  (b)   is given an opportunity to respond.

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