Family Violence Cross-Examination Scheme

From 10 September 2019, personal cross-examination may be banned in proceedings under the Family Law Act where allegations of family violence have been raised. 

If the ban is made, cross-examination of both parties to a case must be undertaken by a lawyer. If they are not represented by a lawyer, each party will need to arrange to be represented by a private lawyer or apply for legal representation under the Commonwealth Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme.

This information will help you understand more about making an application under the Scheme.

Can I apply for a lawyer under the Scheme? 

You can apply for a lawyer under the Scheme if the Family Court of WA has made a notice or order banning personal cross-examination in your case. The ban may apply if there is an allegation of family violence between the parties. The ban will be applied automatically in certain circumstances, or the court may use its discretion to impose a ban.

At this stage, the personal cross-examination ban only applies in Family Court WA cases where the parties were married. The ban can apply in both property and parenting cases. 

At this stage the ban does not apply to proceedings under the Family Court Act where parties were in a de facto relationship. It is expected the law will change in the future and apply to both to married and de facto parties. 

How can I make an application for a lawyer under the Scheme? 

If a personal cross-examination ban notice or order is made by the Family Court of WA in your case, you can make an application for a lawyer under the Scheme by:

You can also speak to Family Court Services at the Family Court in Perth on the day the notice or order is made.

 

More information

Commonwealth Department of Attorney-General

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.