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

 


Family Court reform set to begin


Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

27 November 2012 Media Statement
Family Court reform set to begin

Justice Minister Judith Collins has today introduced legislation to Parliament to modernise the family justice system and make it more accessible to those who need it most.

Ms Collins says the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill is the first important step to creating a modern and accessible family justice system that is more focused on the needs of children and vulnerable people.

“It is important to concentrate on putting the needs of children first, and our reforms will support parents to resolve their simple parenting and relationship issues outside court.

“We are also improving support for vulnerable victims of domestic violence by increasing the penalty for breaching a protection order, recognising ‘economic abuse’ as a form of psychological abuse, and improving stopping domestic violence programmes,” Ms Collins says.

The cost to the taxpayer of running the Family Court grew 70 per cent in the past six years, from $84 million to $142 million per year, despite the overall number of applications to the Court remaining steady.

“Our changes will make the Family Court a more efficient and effective part of the wider justice system.

“These reforms are the most significant changes to the family justice system since the Court was established in 1981. However, core features of the current system will not change – people still have entitlement to legal aid, and immediate access to the Court in emergency situations,” Ms Collins says.

Key features of the Family Court reforms are:

• A new Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) service to help parents and families settle disputes about their children and get on with their lives more quickly.
• Expansion of the successful Parenting through Separation course.
• Simplified and streamlined court processes, for example, Care of Children applications will follow one of three new court ‘tracks,’ depending on the complexity and urgency of the case.
• Improved information and easy-to-use forms to help people navigate the court system independently in simple matters.
• Increasing the maximum penalty for breaching a protection order from two years to three years imprisonment.
• Improving stopping domestic violence treatment programmes.
• Extending the definition of domestic violence in the Domestic Violence Act to include ‘economic abuse’.

After its first reading, the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill will be referred to select committee where anyone with an interest in the family justice system will have an opportunity to have their say on the Bill.

More information about the Family Court reform is available at www.justice.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news