Topic 2: Expiry Dates on Intervention Orders
This is a summary of Topic 2. Download the complete Topic 2 from the Discussion Paper.
Intervention orders provide protection by preventing a perpetrator of abuse from having contact with a victim. For example, an intervention order may prohibit them from being near a victim’s home or workplace.
In South Australia, unlike other jurisdictions, intervention orders do not have an end date. For an intervention order to be removed, a defendant must complete an application process and demonstrate that they no longer pose a risk to the victim.
It has been suggested that the law should be changed in South Australia, so that Courts can set an expiry date on intervention orders.
Main reason for an expiry date:
- If intervention orders do not expire, over time there will be a build-up of orders that are no longer necessary. This means that the defendant may do something that is technically still criminal, when it shouldn’t be.
Main reasons against an expiry date
- Due to the nature of domestic violence, there may never be a point in time where a victim would feel safe from an abuser. It is argued that the onus should not be on the victim to prove that they are still at risk in court, which may expose them to unwanted contact with their abuser.
- No court can predict what may happen when a defendant is no longer subject to the restraint of an intervention order. This may put the victim at risk.
We are asking you to consider whether intervention orders should expire after a certain period of time or whether courts should be given the discretion to impose a time limit. If a time limit is supported, what is an appropriate expiry term?