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

 

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:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. 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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news