Evaluating Criminalisation as a Strategy in Relation to Non-Physical Family Violence



Publication Details

J. Quilter, 'Evaluating Criminalisation as a Strategy in Relation to Non-Physical Family Violence' in M. McMahon & P. McGorrery(eds), Criminalising Coercive Control: Family Violence and the Criminal Law (2020) 111-131.


This chapter reflects broadly on the use of criminalisation as a strategy for addressing the harms and risks related to non-physical family violence. It aims to contribute to constructive dialogue over whether we should adopt new forms of criminalisation to combat non-physical family violence and, if so, how we should criminalise. This chapter is organised around three lines of inquiry. First, a consideration of whether a different 'logic' of criminalisation operates in relation to domestic violence when compared to other subject matter or 'sites' of criminal lawmaking. Secondly, a discussion about the care that needs to be taken when 'borrowing' criminalisation innovations to address coercive non-physical forms of domestic violence from other policy settings and jurisdictions. Finally, an examination of how we should approach the detection of a 'gap' in existing legal arrangements and the considerations that should inform what statutory architecture is appropriate for filling any gap so identified.

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