Main Content Anchor

Peace and good behaviour

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted to make an application for a peace and good behaviour order in the magistrates court the following tests must be satisfied:

For legal aid to be granted to file a complaint and summons in relation to a breach or to defend an application or breach of a peace and good behaviour order the following tests must be satisfied:

Documentary requirements

Application received from client

Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
  • Proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).
  • For a complainant, details of their evidence of the threat by the defendant to either assault the complainant or any person under the care of the complainant or to destroy or damage property of the complainant.
  • For a respondent, details of their evidence which demonstrates that the application sought by the complainant is unlikely to be successful.

Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system with:

  • A peace and good behaviour checklist, and
  • For a complainant, details of their evidence of the threat by the defendant to either assault the complainant or any person under the care of the complainant or to destroy or damage property of the complainant.
  • For a respondent, details of their evidence which demonstrates that the application sought by the complainant is unlikely to be successful.
  • proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).

Practitioners must also ensure that the following documents are retained on file:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.

Interpretation

What is a peace and good behaviour application?

A peace and good behaviour application is an application to the magistrates court seeking that an order be made that the defendant keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The court will determine the length of time the order is to be effective and will also include any other stipulation that it thinks fit. The Peace and Good Behaviour Act is used in situations which fall outside the Domestic Violence Act.

In order to bring an application the applicant must show evidence of a threat by the defendant:

  1. To assault the complainant or any person under the care of the complainant or,
  2. To destroy or damage property of the complainant.

The complainant must also show that he/she is in fear of the defendant. If the evidence of the applicant is that they consider the threats a mere annoyance, the court will not make an order under the Act as one of the grounds has not been established. The application is heard by a magistrate and the applicant must give evidence of the threats and of his/her fear.

Extremely perilous situations

An extremely perilous situation is one where the applicant fears that he/she is in imminent physical danger from the other party. Where the applicant is in real fear of physical violence, it would not be appropriate to refer the matter to the Dispute Resolution Centre.

Dispute Resolution Centre

The Dispute Resolution Centre is a mediation program set up by the state government. Trained mediators arrange a meeting between the parties in dispute and endeavour to assist them to reach agreement. The Dispute Resolution Centre is a free service. It would be appropriate to refer people with neighbourhood disputes to the Dispute Resolution Centre where threats made are annoying rather than serious. Other disputes handled by the centre include family, workplace, public issue and community disputes.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid to represent a client in the magistrates court under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act and conduct a hearing is G6.

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).

Related links and information
Back to top