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New MOU signed to improve family justice

New MOU signed to improve family justice

A new agreement between New Zealand and England and Wales will ensure our countries continue to work together to improve their family justice systems.

Justice Minister Judith Collins and UK Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Chris Grayling, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows for regular discussions and information sharing about their respective family justice reforms.

“England and Wales have recently implemented family justice reforms, very similar to New Zealand’s, including new out-of-court mediation services for parenting disputes,” Ms Collins says.

“This MOU recognises our common interests in protecting children and vulnerable people, providing less adversarial approaches to resolving parenting disputes, and ensuring our Courts operate efficiently and effectively.

“The MOU will allow our countries to share insights such as evaluation reports and information on successes and operational adjustments. Personal information, such as data about individual people and specific cases, will not be shared.”

Ms Collins says New Zealand’s reforms create a modern, accessible family justice system that encourages parents to reach out-of-court agreements about care arrangements for their children. This will ensure the Family Court is free to focus on cases that most need judicial expertise.

“Our reforms have been in place for two months now and I’m very pleased with how the new system is progressing. The MOU will allow us to learn from England and Wales and consider further improvements,” Ms Collins says.

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