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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

ALSO:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news