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 Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news