Family Law Shambles

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The Law Society of NSW supports in-principle an announcement by Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter that the Family Court and Federal Circuit Courts be amalgamated.

The Law Society of NSW supports in-principle an announcement by Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter that the Family Court and Federal Circuit Courts be merged.

President of The Law Society of NSW said the ongoing delays in the family law system have been a concern of the Law Society for some years.

“Any measures that can streamline processes and reduce the backlog of cases are welcome,” Mr Humphreys said.

“However the Law Society is firmly of the view that the system also requires additional resources to cope with the increased complexity of matters and the current unmanageable workloads of many judges.

“While a merged court with a single set of rules, procedures and forms appears to be a step in the right direction, additional resources are an urgent priority ahead of the commencement of the merger on 1 January 2019.”

Mr Humphreys said the Law Society looked forward to the opportunity to review the legislation implementing the reforms and further details about the timeframe for merging the two sets of court rules.

“This will be key to simplifying procedures and improving the disposition of cases,” he said.

“We will carefully scrutinise the detail of the proposals to ensure they will generate the efficiencies and simplification the system so desperately needs.”

The Law Society will also continue to engage with the Australia Law Reform Commission’s review of the family law system, which is now an opportunity to focus on alternative reforms to further improve the operation of the system.

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