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Care of Children Bill falls short

Judith Collins National Family & Associate Justice Spokeswoman

5 April 2004

Care of Children Bill falls short

The Care of Children Bill does not go far enough to open the Family Court's work to scrutiny, says National's Family and Associate Justice spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

She was commenting on evidence given by the Principal Family Court Judge, Peter Boshier, to Parliament's Justice & Electoral Select Committee that the current system of secrecy in the Family Court is 'very clumsy and needs change'.

Ms Collins says Judge Boshier has made it very clear that Family Court proceedings should available for publication.

Judge Boshier believes privacy can be maintained by the allocation of code numbers and the deletion of names. He would like to see accredited media allowed to attend Family Court sittings, and for judges to be able to authorise publication of names where it is in the public interest.

"It is very clear that judges want a better performance from those whose jobs it is to help the Court," says Ms Collins.

"They are sick and tired of delays caused by poor performance.

"This would allow judges to more effectively deal with litigants who deliberately cause delays or cynically manipulate the system to get their own way.

"It was very pleasing to hear Judge Boshier's refreshing stance and learn that Family Court judges unanimously approve.

"I hope the new Minister in charge of this Bill will take the advice of Judge Boshier and not persist with the current buck-each-way Bill," says Ms Collins.


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