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Law Society out of touch with the community

19 Hornsey Road, Melrose Wellington, New Zealand; Tel 04 389 4222 Fax 04 934 4080 Mobile 025 439 461, E-Mail aasbt@attglobal.net

30 April 2000 – For immediate release.

Press Release

Law Society out of touch with the community

“The Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society must be completely out of touch to suggest that Dr Muriel Newman’s Shared Parenting Bill is misconceived and fundamentally flawed”, said FARE spokesperson Darryl Ward today.

“The Shared Parenting Bill is directly modelled on overseas family legislation that has been very successful at improving the welfare of children and significantly reducing the litigation between parents. Perhaps then the real reason why the Law Society is so opposed to this Bill is that they fear loss of work for lawyers if families are encouraged to work out their own solutions.”

“Furthermore, the Shared Parenting Bill encourages equality between mothers and fathers in the family. Yet the Law Society has recently been openly advocating measures that would seriously augment the already serious inequality that exists between parents before the law. If the Law Society is successful, it will not only massively increase the acrimony already caused by the status quo, but greatly increase the litigation, and lawyers’ fees, suffered by separating families”.

“The Law Society must have its head in the sand to be unaware of the massive and widespread suffering that is being caused by the our family law regime. New Zealand’s current family law is decades behind the rest of the world because every year it is responsible for the permanent denial to literally tens of thousands of New Zealand children of their right to receive love and care from both of their parents. Dr Newman’s Bill strives to truly make the welfare of the child the first and paramount consideration, unlike the current regime which pays lip service to this concept but in reality causes children needless suffering”.

“Our organisation has been approached by many practicing lawyers who have expressed their concern that that the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society is dominated by radical feminist philosophy. Perhaps another reason for the Law Societies opposition to this Bill is that they wish to continue to alienate the children of divorce from their fathers, which is one of the worst outcomes of the current regime”.

“If the New Zealand Law Society really did care about the welfare of children and not just its own welfare and ideology, it would support this Bill being referred to a Select Committee. That way, ordinary New Zealand parents could have their say on this momentous issue,” concluded Ward.


For more information phone 025 - 230 1667 Electronic copy available from: taliesin@paradise.net.nz Refer News Release from The New Zealand Law Society 28/4/00

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