Submissions Now Open For: Family Court (Supporting Children In Court) Legislation Bill
The Chairperson of the Justice Committee has invited public submissions on the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill with a closing date of Sunday, 28 February 2021
This bill aims to enhance child wellbeing in care-of-children proceeding. It would do so by making changes to court processes, and by requiring lawyers to take steps to resolve disputes by promoting conciliation.
The bill would amend the Care of Children Act 2004 and the Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013. The changes would reinforce existing expectations about giving emphasis to the view of the child, giving better effect to children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The bill proposes to set expectations that children will be provided with opportunities to make inputs on decisions relating to their care. It would also require family violence to be taken into account for all decisions relating to the care of a child.
The bill also proposes to set new expectations for the appointment of lawyers representing children in the family court. The court would have to consider a lawyer’s personality, cultural background, training, and experience when appointing a lawyer to represent a child. The bill would also require a lawyer representing a child to explain the proceedings to the child in a manner that the child is able understand, when possible.
Tell the Justice Committee what you think
Make a submission on the bill by midnight on Sunday 28 February 2021.