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3 Int'l J. Therapeutic Juris. 49 (2018)
Family Violence Courts in New Zealand: Therapeutic for Whom

handle is hein.journals/ijtherju3 and id is 67 raw text is: 




FAMILY VIOLENCE CoURTS IN NEW ZEALAND: THERA-
                  PEUTIC   FOR  WHOM?

               Alice Mills and Katey Thom*


                          Abstract

       Family violence is a major social problem in New Zea-
land.  It has the highest prevalence of partner assault among
westernised countries, and nearly half of all homicides and re-
ported violent crimes are related to family violence (Ministry
of  Justice, 2015).   Family  Violence   Courts  (hereinafter
FVCs)  were  first established in New Zealand in 2001 and
have been conceptualised as broadly based on the principles of
Therapeutic Jurisprudence (hereinafter TJ) (Knaggs, Leahy,
Soboleva, &  Ong, 2008a). The  aim of FVCs  is to improve ef-
ficiency in the processing of family violence cases whilst en-
suring offender accountability and the safety of victims (Minis-
try of Justice, 2008). Drawing on existing literature and obser-
vations of FVCs in New Zealand, this paper aims to explore the
tensions that may arise between achieving these goals. Specif-
ically, this paper considers early guilty pleas and the need to
expedite the court process; the quality of judicial monitoring
and limited information-sharing between  agencies; the ques-
tionable efficacy of offender treatment programmes; and, the
promotion  of victim safety. It also examines the granting of
Section 106, discharge without conviction, for offenders who
submit an early guilty plea, and complete an offender treatment
programme.   Although this may help to expedite cases, this pa-
per explores how this may also risk sending a message to vic-

* Alice Mills is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the
University of Auckland. Katey Thom, PhD, is a senior research fellow in
the medical and health faculty at the University of Auckland.

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