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Another Step Toward An Open Family Court

Another Step Toward An Open Family Court

Thursday 19 Feb 2004 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman was today delighted to announce that her Family Court (Openness of Proceedings) Amendment Bill had been drawn from the Private Members ballot.

"This is extremely good news, and very timely given the fact that the Care of Children Bill is currently before Select Committee," Dr Newman said.

"The issues dealt with in these Bills are not unknown to Parliament or the public. But, while the Care of Children Bill calls for more reporting of Family Court proceedings, my Bill aims to open this secret court up to public and media scrutiny once and for all.

"For too long our Family Court has operated under a shroud of secrecy, and its proceedings shielded from public attention. This Bill aims to modernise our Family Court along the lines of the New Zealand Youth Court - whereby the courts are open, but publication of identities is restricted and the judge has the discretion to close the court on a case-by-case basis.

"The drawing of my Bill is another step on the path to an open court and transparency, and I look forward to it going on to the Select Committee stage," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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