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Government Ignores Key Family Court Issue

ACT Social Services Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman has criticised the Government over the terms of reference given to the Law Commission for their review of disputes resolution in the Family Court.

"It is outrageous that the Government has ignored the issue of openness, even though it has been the most prominent area of concern and debate about the Family Court in recent years.

"In spite of widespread public interest in the issue, and a growing call from both the public and legal practitioners for more openness in the Family Court, the Government has deliberately ignored the call for change. They even refused to allow my private members' bill to open up the Family Court to go to a Select Committee.

"In spite of clear evidence from overseas that opening up the Family Court to greater public and media scrutiny will solve many of the sorts of problems that the Law Commission's report has identified, they have been prevented by this Government from looking at this more substantive issue.

"New Zealanders understand that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done and as long as the Family Court is shrouded in secrecy then the associated problems will continue to grow,"


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