Representation in Court in Domestic Violence Matters

Police, Lawyer, Barrister or Self-Representation in a Domestic Violence Protection Order Application 

In Queensland some Police Prosecutors are specially trained to represent aggrieved persons in court in Domestic Violence Applications.

Police Prosecutors will usually represent a person (the aggrieved) in an Application for a Domestic Violence Protection Order if the Police take out an Application for a Domestic Violence Protection Order for a person.

Police will usually only take out an Application after either, they have attended an incident, or have had a complaint made to them that causes them significant concern for future welfare of a person they feel is suffering domestic violence.

A person can also take out an Application for a Domestic Violence Protection Order themselves or engage a lawyer to do so, either privately or through Legal Aid.

An aggrieved person can engage a lawyer to privately represent them at their own expense.

Sometimes an aggrieved person might be entitled to have a lawyer represent them through Legal Aid.

Respondents must either represent themselves, or engage a lawyer to represent them either privately or through Legal Aid if they are entitled to Legal Aid.

At many courts there might be:



  • a Duty Lawyer who can give some advice;
  • various community organisations that have specially trained staff available at court to support and guide a person.

Whether such services are available at Court depends upon funding and resources.

If those services are available at Court, then they are usually there to offer support and information to both men and woman dealing with Domestic Violence, whether they are appearing as the Aggrieved or as the Respondent.

Not always, but at many Courts (almost always at Maroochydore courthouse) after arrival at court, men and women, are kept segregated, usually with the community support staff, until they must appear in court.

Domestic Violence matters are heard in a “closed” court in Queensland.

This means the court is not “open” to the public.

However, the Court may open the proceedings or part of the proceedings to the public or specific persons in some circumstances.


  • The content on this page represents the law in Queensland.  Domestic Violence laws vary according to each State and Territory in Australia.
  • In Qld Protection Orders are called Domestic Violence Protection Orders or a “DVO”.
  • Other States refer to a Relationship Violence Protection Order or DVO as:
    • NSW: In New South Wales it is an Aprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO) or (ADVO) or an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO);
    • VIC: In Victoria it is a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO);
    • ACT: In the Austalian Capital Territory it is a Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVO)
    • TAS: In Tasmainia it is Family Violence Order (FVO) or Police Family Violence Order (PFVO);
    • S.A.: In South Australia it is an Intervention Order (IO);
    • W.A.: In Western Australia it is a Violence Restraining Order (VRO);
    • N.T.: In the Northern Territory it is a Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVO)
    • So variously it is referred to as a Domestic Violence Order, Intervention Order, Restraining Order, Protection Order, Apprehended Violence Order, Violence Restraining Order etc.


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