Last updated 14 March 2022
Both the aggrieved and respondent parties have options to get legal help and assistance.
They can represent themselves or ask a lawyer to appear for them, and if they are an aggrieved be represented by a police prosecutor.
Assistance from a police prosecutor
A police prosecutor will represent an aggrieved where police are making the application for a domestic violence order on their behalf.
A police prosecutor may also appear for an aggrieved who is making their own (private) application for a domestic violence order. The aggrieved should approach the police prosecutor in court and ask for assistance as practices vary from court to court.
Assistance from a lawyer
Legal assistance for both an aggrieved and respondent party can be obtained through Legal Aid Queensland if a person is eligible for a grant of aid. A person can apply for legal aid through a solicitor in a private firm that is approved to do legal aid work or by going directly to a legal aid office.
Community legal centres may also be able to assist an aggrieved or respondent to complete their application for a domestic violence order and with representation.
Otherwise a solicitor in a private law firm may be engaged.
Assistance available at court
A domestic violence duty lawyer is a free lawyer available in 14 courts across Queensland. A lawyer is available for both the aggrieved and the respondent to provide legal advice on the day of court and in some cases representation in court.
The Women’s Legal Service operates a domestic violence unit in Brisbane, at the Gold Coast and in Caboolture. This includes legal advice, safety planning, assistance to draft documents and representation in some circumstances.
Assistance from a domestic violence service
Many courts in Queensland have violence prevention workers who:
- assist an aggrieved to apply for an order
- help an aggrieved to access the court’s safety facilities
- explain orders to clients
- assist with completing applications
- liaise with the police prosecutor or court
- refer the aggrieved for legal advice and representation.
Additionally, local domestic violence services or refuge staff across Queensland will assist people affected by domestic and family violence in making an application for a domestic violence order or referring them to a service that will assist.
If the aggrieved wishes to authorise a person to apply for a domestic violence order, they should ensure that the person has experience in this kind of matter.