Interesting new research from La Trobe University, WEstjustice and Fitzroy Legal Service on the Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) system. The process of analysing the narratives in FVIO applications highlighted important questions about how these narratives are crafted; when and to what degree they might be altered during the application process; and for what purpose. For instance, anecdotal evidence suggests that court registrars play a significant role in editing, rewriting, and restructuring the narratives in AFM applications. However, registrars are largely invisible in this process since there is no record of their contributions or changes to AFM’s narratives.

There is no clear, transparent, or easily accessible map of the process of applying for an FVIO for anyone involved, from AFMs through to Magistrates.

The lack of a clear map makes the process of applying for an FVIO opaque. It is difficult to understand what information is important at each stage of the process, and why, and the various roles of the different actors involved. The absence of a map also prevents practitioners and researchers from understanding the level of consistency in the application process for AFMs. Improving transparency and access to information about the FVIO application process would improve AFMs access to justice.

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