Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Consolidating Family Law Courts in Australia

From the Conversation:

As federal parliament heads off on its Christmas break, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the legal community and the Australians who use the family law system.

Amid a busy final sitting week, the Morrison government’s controversial plan to merge the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court — which both have responsibility for family law — has been shelved until next year.

This merger has been on the cards for some time. It passed the lower house earlier this month, despite fierce opposition from Labor, the Greens and legal experts.

The Coalition is now seeking Senate crossbench support to create a single court known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

My new research, together with colleagues Jane Wangmann and Tracey Booth, provides further evidence as to why this would be an unhelpful move.

The high number of family law cases involving both family violence allegations and self-representation shows how safety and improved resourcing must be central to all family law proceedings — not just improved “efficiency”.

Read more here.

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