A leading Gold Coast criminal lawyer is calling for a review of the domestic violence system. He says it is ‘too easy’ to get orders granted.
A leading Gold Coast criminal lawyer is calling for a review of the domestic violence system. He says it is ‘too easy’ to get orders granted.

Domestic violence orders ‘too easy’ to get

DOMESTIC violence orders are "too easy" to get through the Southport Magistrates Court, according to a leading Gold Coast defence lawyer.

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers director Michael Gatenby is calling for a review of the entire system to ensure more balance.

He told the Gold Coast Bulletin orders were handed out with little investigation or consideration of circumstances.

"I think the domestic violence system is broken," he said. "I think the pendulum has swung too far in granting these orders.

Leading Gold Coast defence lawyer Michael Gatenby believes domestic violence orders were handed out with little investigation or consideration of circumstances. Picture Mike Batterham
Leading Gold Coast defence lawyer Michael Gatenby believes domestic violence orders were handed out with little investigation or consideration of circumstances. Picture Mike Batterham

"There is a blanket approach and there is no real investigation.

"There are a lot of domestic violence orders being taken out and granted in circumstances where it is dubious."

Mr Gatenby said he knew a number of women who wanted an order forcing their partner to be on good behaviour but still maintain contact.

Police insisted on orders preventing contact, he said. "My fear is these women will now just say 'I am not going to call the police at all'," he said.

He said Queensland Police needed to review the DV system urgently and give discretion back to prosecutors when it came to applying for domestic violence orders.

A spokeswoman for Queensland Police said they were unable to comment by the time the Bulletin went to print.



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