Rhetoric versus reality in sentencing violent domestic offenders in WA: H (1995) 81 A Crim R 88
Whitney, K. (1997) Rhetoric versus reality in sentencing violent domestic offenders in WA: H (1995) 81 A Crim R 88. Sister in Law, 2 . pp. 119-133.
In June 1994, Western Australian Chief Justice David Malcolm's
Taskforce on Gender Bias reported that:
“All domestic violence must be stopped and the criminal justice system is the first place that can affirm and enforce societal condemnation of violence against women. Domestic violence is a crime and must be consistently treated as such by the criminal justice system; it is not a social problem to be ‘managed’ by welfare agencies, Judicial response to domestic violence has traditionally left women victims without sufficient protection or remedy. The court system, as the police system, tends to view domestic violence as a family/private problem”.
Within one year of these criticisms of judicial response to domestic violence, Chief Justice Malcolm had the opportunity to meet the challenge raised by his Taskforce. In H, the Chief Justice had the chance to demonstrate that he fully appreciated the criminal nature of domestic violence, and that he was willing to sentence accordingly. Unfortunately, the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy failed to meet this challenge on behalf of the Court. To the contrary, their Honours demonstrated that they continue to view domestic violence as a marital and/ or social problem, and that they are reluctant to deal seriously with violent domestic offenders. This view does not conform with their rhetoric that domestic violence ‘will not be tolerated’.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Law|
|Publisher:||Enid Russell Society, School of Law, Murdoch University|
|Copyright:||Enid Russell Society|
|Notes:||Quote from "Chief Justice's Taskforce on Gender Bias, Report of the Chief Justice's Taskforce on Gender Bias (30 June 1994) at 154-55."|
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