Perpetrators of family and domestic violence could face tougher sentencing in the ACT under new laws.
The proposed changes would mean courts would have to give specific consideration when sentencing a person convicted of a family violence crime.
Courts would have to consider certain elements such as whether the offending occurred at home, if a child was present or if the offender has any previous convictions for serious family violence offences.
Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury introduced the bill to the territory's parliament on Thursday.
"What these reforms seek to do is give the powers to the court to take into account the fact that family violence really breaches the sense of trust, breaches the sense of intimacy in a relationship and has particular impact on young people," Mr Rattenbury said.
Mr Rattenbury said the introduction of the law was prompted after a Court of Appeal decision that referenced the fact there was no separate sentencing regime for people who commit family violence offences.
The appeal, which was dismissed, related to a case where a man was sentenced to 16 months in prison for terrorising his family with an axe and holding it to his child's face in an alcohol-fueled rampage. In the appeal, the Crown argued the sentence were "manifestly inadequate.
Mr Rattenbury said the case was brought to his attention shortly after he became the ACT's Attorney-General.
"This is about making sure that we've got a strong and clear sentencing regime," he said.
"The reforms introduced today directly address that finding of the Court of Appeal."
However, ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee said the government has taken too long to introduce the reforms.
"It is very disappointing that it took the Attorney-General and this ACT government such a long time to respond to community concerns... about whether our laws are doing enough to protect victims and victim survivors of domestic and family violence," she said.
Ms Lee also said the government had not yet consulted with her about a draft bill she put forward which addressed similar laws.
Domestic and family violence would be made aggravating offences under Ms Lee's draft bill, which would compel courts to treat family and domestic violence crimes more seriously.
Mr Rattenbury said the possible addition of aggravated offences would form part of a second stage of reforms to be introduced later this year.
"We do consider that issues around creating aggravated offences are more complex from a legal point of view as well as from a social policy point of view," he said.
Ms Lee said that indicated the government had dismissed her bill.
"I think the response and the attitude from the government in relation to that clearly shows that they have either decided not to look at my bill whatsoever," she said.
"I think that's actually just doing a disservice to the community."
Mr Rattenbury's bill comes a day after legislation was introduced to make way for a long-promised domestic and family violence death review.
A death review would examine deaths from family and domestic violence and identify factors that lead to these deaths. It would also allow for recommendations to be made to improve system responses.
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