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Family Court Judge Receives Strong Support

Media Release

15th April 2004

Family Court Judge Receives Strong Support From New Zealand First MP

“I strongly support Judge Jan Doouge’s speech to the LexisNexis Child and Youth Law Conference in which she raised important issues such as the current Section 16(b) of the Guardianship Act and its relationship with the Domestic Violence Act 1995”.

“The Care of Children Bill does nothing to change the present situation” said Mr Jones New Zealand First Justice Spokesman.

He added, “What is necessary is for the Care of Children Bill and the Domestic Violence Act to be considered together and for one piece of legislation to deal with the care of children.

If the Care of Children Bill is truly meant to be a Bill for the care for children then it must also include the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act which have a great bearing on the care of children.

It is just common sense that all legislation with regard the care of children should be under the one piece of legislation not under two or more.

By coincidence I have appeared before Judge Doouge in two situations where I represented fathers who opposed domestic violence orders and were successful in each case. In one case, in fact, Judge Doouge curtailed the hearing because the evidence of the mother was so deficient that it was clear no final order could be made.

Judges can only carry out the legislation created by Parliament.

The 1995 Domestic Violence Legislation is a failure. Its social experimentation is symptomatic of the many mistakes made by the previous National Government”

Judge Mahoney, the former Chief Family Court Judge, when he appeared before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee also expressed concern about the nature of the current family court legislation relating to the issue and made it clear that the decision lay in the hands of Parliament.

Some members of Parliament whinge and moan about decisions made by Judges but they should look at the Legislation which has been passed by them, especially National Party Members, because the fault lies in the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

It will be my recommendation to the New Zealand First Caucus that we oppose the Care of Children Bill, not only because of its fathers being mothers and mothers being fathers provision, which I believe will be altered, but also for its failure to care for children. It must be considered jointly with a repeal of the Domestic Violence Act 1995. Until this is done the Care of Children Bill continues to be an utter waste of time, “He concluded.


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