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When can an intervention order be made?

An intervention order can be made if it is reasonable to suspect that the defendant will, without intervention, commit an act of abuse against a person AND the issuing of the order is appropriate in the circumstances [see Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA) s 6]. See also Principles for intervention.

The intervention order legislation is anticipatory in nature, aimed at reducing risk of abuse and can be issued if there is sufficient reason to suspect harm will occur. Unlike the previous restraining order legislation, there is no requirement to show evidence that actual harm has already occurred or actual threats have already been made. However, to show the defendant may commit an act of abuse, the protected person will need to indicate what behaviour of the defendant gives rise to this suspicion.

In Police v Giles[2013] SASC 11, the Chief Justice confirmed an interim intervention order on an appeal against its revocation by a magistrate. Although he made findings that the defendant did in the past commit acts of abuse against the protected person both before and after their relationship came to an end [at [37]-[40], he also made the following observations at [30]-[31]:

"First there is no requirement that the facts from which the reasonable suspicion is drawn themselves constitute an act of abuse. Secondly it is not a statutory requirement that those facts or events be recent, or have occurred before or after the breakdown of a relationship.

As to the first observation, there is no doubt that an order could be based on evidence of a statement of an intention to commit an act of abuse even if the communication was not made to the victim or, indeed, in the case, for example, of a personal diary note, to anyone else at all. As to the second observation, the temporal connection of the past event to the application is a relevant consideration, but, depending on the nature of the circumstances, an event occurring many years earlier may nonetheless found a reasonable suspicion that the defendant will commit an act of abuse. "

When can an intervention order be made?  :  Last Revised: Tue Apr 16th 2013
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