MP has a record of domestic violence. But we can’t name him.

An MP in Federal Parliament was charged with domestic violence-related offences on two occasions last decade.

Sean Johnson20 April 2024

This is a stock photo from Unsplash. It bears no resemblance to the MP in question.

A federal MP plead guilty to assaulting a family member and contravening a domestic violence order in Victoria prior to their election to parliament, though we can’t tell you his name due to legal restrictions in the state on publishing the identity of perpetrators of domestic violence.  

Court records from the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria show the MP’s name and date of birth - which is displayed on parliament's website - match those of a person charged by Victoria Police last decade with unlawful assault and breaching a family violence final intervention order.

A family violence final intervention order is a court order to protect a person from someone whom a magistrate or judge believes has committed domestic violence and will probably do so again.

Although the MP plead guilty to both charges, he was not convicted, with the magistrate imposing a good behaviour bond before dismissing the case.

Source: Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

A bond or adjourned undertaking requires that an offender comply with specific conditions set by the court for a period of between 12 months to five years.

Melbourne law firm Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers says that if there is any reoffending during the bond period, “the offender can be bought back to Court and ... re-sentenced on the original charges.”

Earlier domestic violence case

The same year Victoria Police charged the MP with unlawful assault in another domestic violence case, but on this occasion he plead not guilty and the charge was withdrawn.

We don't know if this case involves the same alleged victim or another family member.

Source: Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

We sought a response from the MP on both cases, however his media adviser said he "will not be making a comment on this issue."

He shall not be named

Open Politics can't name the MP because we've received legal advice that Victoria’s Family Violence Protection Act 2008 restricts the identification of any person in a court proceeding involving domestic violence unless the court decides otherwise.

The legal restrictions mean that men who commit domestic violence in Victoria usually avoid public exposure of their behaviour. (Yes, men are overwhelmingly the culprits of domestic violence.)

Compare this to NSW where domestic violence laws allow by default the publication of the identity of an adult involved in apprehended violence order proceedings, unless the court says otherwise, with the media frequently reporting on sports stars and other public figures before the courts on domestic violence charges.  

Queensland too. Just this week came news former Test cricketer Michael Slater had been charged in the sunshine state with domestic violence offences.

The MP should probably count himself lucky he wasn't charged north of the border.

Please note: We use 'MP' in the informal sense to mean parliamentarian. The individual is not necessarily a Member of the House of Representatives (MP).

Domestic violence support services

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 

Lifeline: 131 114

Mensline: 1300 789 978


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