Domestic violence cases not immune to the ordinary civil law

12 January 2010

Professor Barbara McDonald commented upon the domestic violence case involving a woman awarded almost $200,000 in damages, in the Sydney Morning Herald recently.

Professor McDonald said it was ''very unusual'' for victims of domestic violence to pursue damages.

A lack of financial resources meant most victims could not fund civil action and their partners could not comply with any court-ordered payout, Professor McDonald said. But the case reinforced that parties to a marriage were ''not immune from the ordinary civil law''.

Civil proceedings were not just about compensation, she said.

''They are also about getting the court's recognition that an assault and battery did occur and they [the plaintiff] had been wronged.

"So, to a certain extent, it satisfies people's need for justice.''

View the entire article - Violent husband must pay wife $200,000

Contact: Greg Sherington

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