What is an ‘Undertaking’?

Having an intervention order application made against you can be a confronting process, particularly if you don’t agree with the allegations made in the application. Sometimes rather than trying to contest the intervention order, a better option is to propose an ‘undertaking’ in order to resolve the matter.

Intervention Order Versus Undertaking

An intervention order is a court order requiring you to follow a series of conditions in relation to the applicant, including that you have no contact with the applicant.

Having an order taken out against you is not the same as being charged with a crime and you do not have a criminal record simply because an order has been taken out against you. However, if you breach a condition of the order you can be charged with a criminal offence.

An undertaking is very similar to an intervention order in that it is an agreement between yourself and the applicant that you will follow certain conditions, often including no contact with the applicant. The undertaking is signed by both parties and filed with the Court.

Unlike an intervention order, it is not a criminal offence if you were to breach a condition of an undertaking – however any breach of an undertaking will likely make any future application for an intervention order more likely to be successful.

Often an undertaking is a preferred option if both parties agree that they should no longer be in contact with one another but that the risk of a criminal conviction should there be a breach isn’t appropriate.

How Do I Request An Undertaking?

An undertaking is a formal agreement between two parties. As you may be subject to an interim intervention order, it is often preferable that this negotiation occur between lawyers rather than the parties themselves.

During discussions a set of conditions for the undertaking will be agreed upon, a formal document will be drafted, signed and then filed with the court.

An undertaking can not be used by the Police to charge someone. But a breach would make it easier for a party to reinstate and application for an order.

There is no point agreeing to an undertaking unless you are going to follow what it states.

Doogue + George have extensive experience drafting undertakings and representing both respondents and applicants in intervention order matters. If you have an intervention order matter coming up, please contact us.