Key points:

  • Interim/temporary orders may be made pending a final hearing of the matter.
  • Final protection orders may be made for a fixed period or until further order.

The court may make a final protection order for a fixed period of time or until further order; or the court may make an interim or temporary order to ensure the protection of the victim and other protected people pending a final hearing of the matter. This is on the basis that the need for protection is urgent and it would be inconsistent with the principle of safety to defer the granting of protection until the perpetrator has been served with an application. There is a variety of circumstances that may delay the finalisation of an application, for example interim orders may be made or extended to allow proper preparation for a final hearing, monitoring of safety arrangements and other concurrent family law related proceedings.

Most jurisdictions do not prescribe a maximum duration for a final protection order, instead allowing the court to specify an appropriate period of time, or to provide for no expiration date. US research indicates that flexibility is necessary to tailor the order to the totality of the circumstances of the particular case with regard to any aggravating factors such as increased risk of harm or recidivism, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.