Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016
1. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 that is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee (the Committee).
2. The Law Council supports the policy objectives underlying the Bill, which include to:
• strengthen the integrity of the family visa program, initially by applying to partner visas;
• reduce violence against women and children, particularly in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, by placing greater emphasis on information disclosure and the assessment of persons as family sponsors, consistent with Action Item 11 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children,1 and
• improve the management of family violence in the delivery of the program.
3. However the Law Council is concerned to ensure that the amendments achieve these objectives in a way which is optimally consistent with the human rights of the families and persons involved.
4. The Law Council is grateful for the contribution that the Migration Law Committee (MLC) in the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section (FLDRS) made to this submission. The work of the MLC includes (but is not limited to):
• expressing expert views through the Law Council on substantive migration law issues;
• attending stakeholder meetings with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP);
• providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events; and
• providing networking opportunities for Australian lawyers in the field of migration law.
5. The Administrative Law Committee in the FLDRS and the Privacy Law Committee in the Business Law Section also provided comment on the draft submission.