• Judicial Commission of NSW, Sentencing Bench Book (updated 2021).

    [63-500] ‘Domestic violence offences’ is a dedicated chapter of the bench book dealing with the sentencing approach to domestic violence and apprehended violence orders. For breaches of apprehended violence orders, the bench book notes s 14(4) of the Crimes (Domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 that states ‘[u]nless the court otherwise orders, a person who is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if the act constituting the offence was an act of violence against a person’ [63-520].

    [2-240] ‘To prevent crime by deterring the offender and other persons from committing similar offences: s 3A(b)’ notes that ‘weight should be given by a court to general and specific deterrence for a range of offences’ including ‘violent offences: committed in a domestic context: Simpson v R [2014] NSWCCA 23 at [35]; Smith v R [2013] NSWCCA 209 at [69]; R v Hamid (2006) 164 A Crim R 179 at [68]; and premeditated violence, particularly leading to grievous bodily harm, in R v Najem [2008] NSWCCA 32 at [33]’.


  • Judicial College of Victoria, Victorian Sentencing Manual (2022).

    The bench book does not contain observations regarding imprisonment specifically in the context of family violence cases. However, it does contain some general observations.

    Part 8.1 Sanction of last resort

    ‘Legislation and the common law state that imprisonment is the sanction of last resort and is not to be imposed unless the court is satisfied that no other penalty is appropriate. Specifically, the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) ss 5(4)-(4C) (‘the Act’) state that a sentence requiring confinement of the offender cannot be imposed unless the court considers that the sentencing purposes cannot be met by another sentence.’