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Court System Should Emphasise Family Restoration

13th August 2005

Court System Should Emphasise Family Restoration

More legal cases involving children should be taken outside the courtroom says Destiny New Zealand Family Court spokeswoman and Candidate for Christchurch Central, Anita Breach.

The Christchurch lawyer says the change to the Family Court was suggested this week by Principal Family Court Judge, Peter Boshier. Judge Boshier, addressing the Auckland Family Courts Association, said more cases involving children should be dealt with outside court or by someone other than a judge while cases which posed a risk to child welfare should enter the Family Court directly.

“This will certainly benefit children in that cases could be dealt with more efficiently and quickly” Mrs. Breach responded. Judge Boshier also said a better and more up-to-date conciliation service is needed to keep some cases out of court.

“The family court system fails to focus on reconciliation,” says Mrs Breach. “While reconciliation isn’t always possible or desirable, we need to place more emphasis on it for the sake of families. It’s politically incorrect now to assume that keeping parents together is a good starting point – but if options for reconciliation were more fully explored and supported at an early stage in the process, we would begin to see less broken families.”

Mrs Breach added that although the implementation of better processes is a good start, achieving better outcomes is the ultimate aim. “A focus on reconciliation would support this aim.”

Mrs Breach is a graduate of the University of Canterbury with a double degree in Law and Political Science and has specialised in Family Law, Criminal Law and Civil Litigation.

The party’s policies can be viewed on www.destinynz.org.nz.


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