Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Proposed changes to the Family Court puts children at risk

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 21 February 2012

Government’s proposed changes to the Family Court puts children at risk

The New Zealand Law Society says children’s voices will be lost if the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill stays in its current form.

Law Society President Jonathan Temm told the Justice and Electoral Select Committee today that the bill makes some positive changes for resolving family disputes, such as the proposal for a mandatory Family Disputes Resolution (FDR) service.

He said however that the cost of FDR and the exclusion of lawyers from the Family Court would greatly disadvantage many New Zealanders.

“The Family Court is the court of ordinary New Zealanders. It is the place where parents go when other ways of resolving the care of their children fail,” said Mr Temm.

In cases involving parenting and guardianship applications the bill removes the right of parents to legal representation in most instances, until a hearing, unless the case involves serious issues.

Parties in these cases will not be entitled to legal aid.

Law Society Family Law Section Chair Garry Collin said the restriction on the right to legal representation in care of children proceedings and the $897 fee imposed for mandatory FDR would make the Family Court less efficient and accessible and would put children at risk.

“The voice of the child is lost under FDR and it is a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Mr Collin said the cost of FDR could create a barrier to justice and act as a disincentive to parties to resolve their disputes out of the Family Court.

Mr Temm said the recent court closures across the country along with the proposals under the Family Court reform would further reduce access to justice.

Mr Collin said the right to legal advice, support and representation should be available to everyone regardless of their level of income.

“Requiring parents to represent themselves in the Family Court will lead not only to a significant increase in costs to the Family Court in terms of judicial and court staff time, but also social and consequent economic costs to society.”
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of The Greenwald/Snowden Revelations

The credibility issues have come down to two main ones:

1 The email This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so largely at the behest of Hollywood’s leading corporates and their best friend in the White House, vice-President Joseph Biden. Some of the debate in the last few days has turned on the reliability of a Warners email that seems to set out this plan in black and white. IMO, the email is just the icing on the cake...

2. Mass surveillance Earlier to day I was going to try to explain the difference between what Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald were talking about (ie mass surveillance via the the cable-accessing SPEARGUN programme and the Xkeyscore analytical programme) and what Key has chosen to talk about instead in order to deliberately distract and confuse the public. Then I found that Keith Ng had not only beaten me to it, but had done so with beautiful lucidity. More>>

Out-Link - "Project SPEARGUN underway" • OnPoint • Public Address

 
 

Parliament Today:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Perception: Study Looks At Trustworthiness And Support Of Politicians

A University of Canterbury marketing study has looked at what impact the Thatcher Effect has on perceptions of trustworthiness and liking of New Zealand politicians leading up to the 2014 general election. More>>

ALSO:

History Lessons: Jamie Whyte At ACT Campaign Opening

It is nearly 20 years since the ACT party was born. Many people no longer remember why it was named ACT. They may imagine that it was on account of our determination to actually do things in parliament rather than simply occupy the seats and collect the salaries. That’s true but it isn’t the right answer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news