On 1 April 2015 ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell announced he would introduce new laws to the Legislative Assembly to make strangulation an offence and allow prosecutors to use a victim’s initial police statement as evidence in court. The government has already embarked on program that could see sweeping reforms to family violence legislation in response to recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Mr Corbell said he would introduce the first stage of those reforms to the legislative assembly in early 2015. However, he said growing unrest in the community over domestic violence, as well as discussions with the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Jon White and Victims of Crime Commissioner John Hinchey, prompted him to speed up some of the changes. The proposed reforms, to be brought forward in the next few months, would make strangulation an offence and allow prosecutors to use family violence victims’ first statement to police as evidence at trial.