Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


ACT Aims to End Secret Injustice in Family Courts

ACT Aims to End Secret Injustice in Family Courts

Monday 13th Nov 2000 Stephen Franks Media Release -- Justice

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said his success in the ballot of a member’s bill which promotes open justice in Family Courts is extremely timely.

“Tomorrow the Government’s Relationship Property Bill goes before Parliament for its second reading. This legislation, which the Government is determined to rush through regardless will lead to a very big increase in Family Court cases.

“Presently, fashionable judicial theory, ideology and even disregard of the law can flourish and hide behind secrecy in the Family Courts, so I was delighted that I was able to ensure that ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Muriel Newman’s bill was drawn in the ballot. She has worked tirelessly in this area to do something about the injustices that she has seen.

“I’m now happy to assign the conduct of the bill through the House to Dr Newman, but am delighted to be associated with it,” Mr Franks said.

Dr Newman said that at the moment the Family Court operates like a secret society. “It pits family member against family member in an environment free from public scrutiny. The stories of injustice are widespread.

“The Family Court (Openness of Proceedings) Bill changes the presumption o f the Family Court from closed to open, while at the same time leaving judges with the power to declare the court closed in special circumstances. This move parallels changes made to the select committees of Parliament, which used to be closed to the public, but which are now open unless the chairman declares otherwise.

“When my Shared Parenting Bill was before Parliament earlier this year I encountered some inexcusable injustices.

“If this bill is supported to a select committee, many of the people who have suffered such injustices will have an opportunity to share their concerns and advise on the improvements to Family Law practices that need to be made,” Dr Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Compelling Case For Meatless Meat

Talk about living in a bubble. As vegetarianism and veganism become normalised – there are more options on restaurant menus! - it can be easy to think that the whole world is gradually giving up on meat. Alas, the reverse is true. Americans for instance consumed 100 kilograms of meat and poultry in 2018, up from 75 kilograms in 1960, according to the US Department of Agriculture figures... More>>


Pay Policy: CTU Public Service Unions Meet With Public Service Minister

The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services. CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was ... More>>

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>


Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels