Back to Publication

General Issue

A Proposal to Give the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Jurisdiction to Resolve Residential Tenancy Matters Involving Family Violence


Samuel Tyrer

Family violence victims face a problem under Victoria’s Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (‘RTA’). Victims must apply to access its protections in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘VCAT’) which is a separate jurisdiction to where they apply for intervention orders under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic), ie, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. This may result in victims having to navigate a completely different jurisdiction, ie, VCAT, if they access the RTA’s protections there. This makes the process unnecessarily complex, and it may even deter some victims from accessing the RTA’s protections for a safe home. Victoria’s 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence identified this problem, and this article advances and unpacks a recommendation it made to consider legislative reform to simplify processes for victims. The research presented herein, while focused on Victorian law, may also inform potential approaches to law reform in other Australian jurisdictions.

Access the link here or view PDF on the left.

(2023) 46(1) UNSWLJ 300: