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 Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Tyan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 

Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>



Government: Crown Accounts Reflect Strong Economy Amid Pandemic

The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year... More>>

ALSO:

National: Christopher Luxon Elected Party Leader
Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. “It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” Mr Luxon says... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels