Family Law Pathways Network Newsletter August 2018
FLPN Newsletter August 2018
Sweeping changes to family court system
From the start of 2019, the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court will be combined in an attempt to speed up the process of settling family disputes by providing one court, one set of rules and procedures. It is hoped that the some 22,000 cases filed across the two courts will be able to reach trial sooner than the current 1.5 year period. It is expected an additional 8000 cases will be resolved each year due to the crossover in jurisdiction and procedures.
There has been scepticism from the legal community, predominantly due to the lack of consultation, and the proposed divisions within the new ‘super court’.
Senate inquiry into dowry abuse in Australia to probe ‘devastating’ impacts on women
The Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs is assessing the adequacy of Australia’s family law and migration law systems in addressing dowry abuse, after media investigations uncovered a spate of horrific deaths resulting from the cultural practice. It will also consider the potential links of dowry abuse with family violence, forced marriage, modern slavery, as well as mental health outcomes for women.
The Committee is currently accepting public submissions, and will consult members from affected communities, advocates and peak body organisations. A final report is due back on 6 December 2018.
Domestic Violence offenders no longer allowed to question abuse victims in Family Court
Legislation has been introduced by the Federal Government to eliminate the ability of self-represented litigants to cross-examine their victims during family law matters, in an attempt to curb community concern and avoid further trauma of victims. The changes mean that where there are clear allegations and/or convictions of violence, the perpetrator is unable to cross-examine the victim of the violence. Courts also now have the discretion to stop direct cross-examination where domestic violence is alleged, and are required to put in place extra protection for alleged victims if questioning is permitted.
“Senior Sitter” ad sparks call for better vetting of aged care workers to reduce elder abuse
In response to a newsletter advertisement offering to mind seniors in clients’ homes on a freelance basis for payment, a Gold Coast solicitor is calling for Australia to introduce a coordinated system for screening people who work in the aged care sector, similar to Working with Children Checks. The solicitor has raised concerns as to the safety of the elderly who could be placed into the care of unvetted individuals, and a vetting process would help guard against elder abuse.
CFCA Paper: Diagnosis in child mental health
This paper encourages practitioners in the child and family welfare sector to examine their own understanding of diagnostic systems, and to critically reflect on the role diagnosis plays in their work. The diagnostic systems employed in Australia are still being debated, and emerging evidence suggests that certain mental health conditions may be overdiagnosed in children. The Paper finds that current diagnostic systems are not scientific certainties, rather are cultural tools to understand different varieties of psychological distress and impairment.
CFCA Resource Sheet: The intersection between the child protection and youth justice systems.
This resource summarises data collected linking the child protection system and youth justice supervision in Australia. It finds that young people in the child protection system are much more likely to be under youth justice supervision than the general population. The reasons for this are multiple and complex, and involve a range of risk factors including a history of maltreatment, social disadvantage, out-of-home care experiences, trauma and developmental delays.
While only a minority of young people involved in the child protection system were also under youth justice supervision in 2014–16, those who were represent a comparatively high proportion of the total number under youth justice supervision
Training and Conferences
2018 National Family Law Conference
Registrations are now open for the annual National Family Law Conference, this year held in Brisbane. Speakers including current and past Justices, psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts will speak on a range of issues including Arbitration, Psychopathy, self-represented litigants, property disputes, and therapy for family violence perpetrators.
Date: 2-5 October 2018
Location: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Registration and more information: https://www.familylawsection.org.au/events/event/2018-national-law-conference-52
The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award is sponsored by the Oregon Family Institute. The award was created to recognize outstanding research and/or research achievements in the field of family and divorce. The award is named for the late Dr. Stanley Cohen, founding member of AFCC who served as executive director and co-editor of the Review.
Children and young people in separated families: Family law system experiences and needs
Final Report 2018
Research Report— June 2018
This report sets out findings from the Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs project, a qualitative study commissioned and funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (AGD). This study aimed to investigate the experiences and needs of young people whose parents had separated and had accessed the family law system.
Direct cross‑examination in family law matters
Incidence and context of direct cross‑examination involving self-represented litigants
A comprehensive application to solve shared parenting challenges once and for all.
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The World Health Organisation refers to elder abuse as 'a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person'.
In 2016, Legal Aid ACT made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on the topic of Elder Abuse. This submission paper was titled 'Protecting the Rights of Older Australians From Abuse'.
This year Legal Aid ACT received funding to launch a specialist legal service for older persons. If you are an older person seeking legal advice, please contact our Older Persons ACT Legal Service (OPALS).
Legal Aid ACT has also developed a number of factsheets on the issue of elder abuse. These can be downloaded from the Information and Education page.970.88 KB
Domestic and Family Violence
WE CAN HELP - call 6207 1874 or 1300 654 314 for an appointment.Read more...
DUI and Licensing 2018 schedule
Free legal information. Driving under the influence & licensing matters.165.85 KB