Response To Reports Must Focus On Better Outcomes For Families And Children

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29th January 2010, 03:12pm - Views: 463





Media Release


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MR0310

29 January 2010



Response to Reports Must Focus on Better

Outcomes for Families and Children


The Law Council has welcomed the Government’s release of three key

reports which examine the operation of the family law system, as well as how

the family law courts deal with cases involving family violence.


The Law Council’s Family Law Section contributed to the reviews, which

were

conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and

Professor Richard Chisholm. 


Law Council President Glenn Ferguson said, “It is our long held position that

any changes to the family law system must be based on providing the

services which those using the system really need, and delivering those

services in the most effective way.” 


“Family law practitioners, in their experience, are of the opinion that shared

parenting, which involves a high level of communication and willingness to

co-operate on the part of both parents, may not

be suitable for all families.

However, practitioners readily work with families to help them negotiate other

arrangements to promote a strong relationship with both parents.”


The Law Council endorses the AIFS’ findings

that,

when developing

parenting arrangements, it is important to identify those families where safety

is a concern. 


“While the Family Law Act acknowledges the profound effect that family

violence has on children and families, the family courts system is not

adequately resourced to realistically deal with violence and its effects.”


“The Government’s response to the reports should focus on better outcomes

for families and children who require the support of the court system.”

 

While the Law Council strongly encourages the use of family dispute

resolution services that are available outside the court system, it must be

remembered that the family law courts provide a vital resource for those

unable to resolve issues arising from the breakdown of family relationships.


“The Law Council will fully consider the findings

of the reports over coming

weeks and we look

forward to

further consultation and discussion with the

Government regarding their recommendations,” Mr Ferguson concluded.


Media Contact:

Ben Caddaye, Law Council Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3725 || M. 041 399 3038


The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal profession at the

national level, to speak on behalf of its constituent bodies on national issues,

and to promote the administration of justice, access to justice and general

improvement of the law.






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