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

 


Family court changes likely to hit kids hardest

Andrew

LITTLE

Justice Spokesperson

27 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Family court changes likely to hit kids hardest

Changes to the way Family Court cases are run are unlikely to improve resolution rates of family disputes, and could make things much worse, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

The government's reforms limit access to legal advice and legal aid, make it harder for children of separating couples to be individually represented and include mandatory mediation, except in cases where violence is alleged.

"Make no mistake. The changes to the Family Court have little to do with improving resolution rates. They are mostly about saving money on legal aid and children's representation.

"At the moment around 80 per cent of cases going to the Family Court are resolved without going before a judge. The parties, including affected children, are represented throughout and have access to legal advice, and most cases are settled.

"The cases going to court are the difficult and intractable ones, or are cases where domestic violence is a factor.

"The idea that couples and their children forced into mediation without equal access to legal advice, and with only the separating parents and a mediator on a fixed fee involved in the discussion, will somehow achieve a better result than we get now requires an extraordinary leap of faith.

"Mediators in the new process cannot give legal advice and have an incentive to achieve an agreement in the shortest amount of time possible. This will hardly give people confidence in any agreement they are being asked to sign.

"My pick is a lot of agreements will be made that parties are not committed to. I cannot imagine the damage this will do them and children whose voices will be largely silenced in the process.

"Labour in Government will review the operation of the new procedures and ensure parties in family court proceedings, including children, have proper access to legal advice and the conditions for negotiating agreements are safe.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street...

Parties specified under Section 149Q(3) of the RMA now have 20 working days to make comments on minor or technical aspects of the report. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Illegal Search: Police Behaviour 'Reminiscent Of Tūhoe Raids'

"Māori will lose further trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) if the recent incident in Stratford is not adequately addressed. This behaviour would not occur in Epsom or Khandallah so why should police think that such behaviour was acceptable in Stratford," says Chris McKenzie. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news