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

Two Dead, One Injured – Suspect Arrested:

Police apprehended Russell John Tully just after 5pm this evening following the armed incident in Ashburton this morning.

Canterbury dog section and AOS apprehended Tully not far from Lake Hood. No shots were fired although Tully will be treated for minor dog-bite injuries.

Tully is now in custody at Ashburton Police Station. More>>


  • 3 News Out-Link - Livestream: Ashburton shooting press conference from 5pm

  •  

    Parliament Today:

    John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

    Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

    Gordon Campbell:
    On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

    Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

    Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

    It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

    ALSO:

    More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

    The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

    Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

    Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

    ALSO:

    Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

    A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

    So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

    ALSO:

    Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

    A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news