Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Law Commission reports on Family Court

Law Commission reports on Family Court

The Law Commission has completed its report on the resolution of Family Court disputes.

The report will be tabled in parliament on today, and the Government will respond formally within six months.

Courts Minister Margaret Wilson has welcomed the report as the first independent, comprehensive and detailed look at the workings of the Family Court since the court’s establishment in 1981.

It concludes that the Family Court provides a good service and identifies particular areas that can be improved.

Margaret Wilson thanks the Commission for its measured analysis and says the report will assist the Government in its ongoing efforts to ensure that New Zealanders have a first-rate justice system.

“More people have contact with the Family Court than any other court in the judicial system, and that contact usually comes at already stressful and upsetting times. It is imperative that the system offers families a forum for conciliation and mediation, and that any necessary interventions are fair and timely,” Margaret Wilson says.

The Government, which commissioned the report, acknowledges the extensive consultation undertaken during the report’s preparation, including the release of a discussion document and public submissions last year, which helped to stimulate debate and tested whether common criticisms of the Family Court proceedings were justified.

In particular, a negative perception has been that the Family Court displays ‘pro-feminist, anti-male’ bias in its processes and application of Law. In its report, the Law Commission finds that accusations of bias are often made when clients do not get the decisions they want, and when processes are protected from pubic scrutiny. It says greater accountability and transparency will build public confidence.

While the Commission does not advocate doing away with Family Court privacy, it urges the adoption of more transparent procedures. Giving clients and the public non-identifying information about the Court’s work would reduce the secrecy surrounding family proceedings.

The Law Commission will deal with this topic more comprehensively in its upcoming report dealing with the structure of the courts.

However, Margaret Wilson says the report on Family Court dispute resolution identifies several key issues and areas for improvement, and makes 135 specific suggestions.

Margaret Wilson says these will be carefully considered, but she is pleased the report confirms the Government is on track with a number of initiatives aimed at improving the Family Court service. In particular:

The Courts Department is already engaged in an extensive modernisation programme, which covers improved case management, a capital works programme for upgrading facilities, and the improved renumeration and training for staff.

The proposed Care of Children Bill dovetails with several of the Law Commission’s recommendations and provides for better participation of children and their extended families in Family Court proceedings and improved availability of judgments made under the new Act.

Margaret Wilson said the Law Commission is due to complete its review of the structure of the courts later this year, and this will undoubtedly also touch on the Family Court and provide a wider context for the present report.

“Together the reports will provide both ‘big picture’ and detailed analysis, based on quality information, to inform Government decisions on what policy or legislative changes will benefit New Zealanders.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news