People with disability and impairment

NSW

  • Judicial Commission of NSW, Equality before the Law: Bench Book (2022).
    Section 5 discusses a range of issues affecting people with disabilities and their experience of court processes.

QLD

  • Magistrates Court of Queensland, Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 Bench Book (2021).
    In relation to perpetrators, see Chapters 5.1.1 ‘What if a respondent has impaired capacity?’ and 11.1 ‘Explanation of proposed order to the respondent’.
  • Supreme Court of Queensland, Equal Treatment Bench Book (2nd ed, 2016).

    Chapter 11 focuses on people with disabilities. It overviews the issues that may be faced by people with disability, and identifies the different types of disabilities and practical considerations. Although the bench book does not provide a specific discussion of the intersection of domestic violence and people with disabilities, it does relevantly suggest a number of key elements a judge may need to consider when a person with a disability goes to court. For example: (p.122).

    • such persons may need more time than is common with persons without disability;
    • the stress of coming to court may exacerbate their symptoms;
    • making any special arrangements in advance will save time and embarrassment at the trial;
    • the person with a disability may not be able to hear, read or be understood whilst in court, or to fully comprehend what is taking place; and
    • some ailments may make it impossible to attend court at all.

Vic

  • Judicial College of Victoria, Family Violence Bench Book (2014).
    Section 5.8 - People with disabilities (cognitive, physical or mental health), provides detailed information on disability and domestic violence, including prevalence of family violence against people with disabilities, disability as a risk factor, particular forms of family violence and barriers to reporting it. It also discusses ‘court craft’ in relation to people with disabilities and contact information for services.

WA

  • Department of Justice (WA), Equal Justice Bench Book (2nd edition September 2021).
    Chapter 4 focuses on people with disabilities. It overviews the issues that may be faced by people with a disability, and identifies the different types of disabilities and practical considerations.

Canada

  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2020).
    Chapter 21: Mental and Physical Disability comprehensively discusses mental disability, including information on enhanced risks for persons with a disability; prevalence and reporting of domestic violence in disability contexts; forms of domestic violence and court options to enhance assessment of domestic violence in disability cases. It also provides a very detailed section on process issues around domestic violence in a disability context.