Submission on the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill
Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2021
NWC welcomes the invitation to make a submission on the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill. In February this year we made a submission to the Family Justice Oversight Group that addressed some of the reforms that we consider essential to a family law system that put users at it centre. Family law is one of the most pressing and critical issues for the women we work with. It is self-evident that an outdated, underfunded and inadequate justice system adds to the harms already experienced by victims of domestic and intimate partner abuse. We urge the Joint Committee on Justice to consider the recommendations made in that submission in tandem with our observations and recommendations on the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill. We are concerned that domestic violence has only been a marginal consideration within the scope of reform of the delivery of the family justice system. Not a single organisation that deals with domestic violence was invited to give evidence to the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality and the subsequent Report on Reform of the Family Law System addressed it in a very limited capacity. The proposed nuts and bolts overhaul of the family justice system as envisaged will go a long way to meet the needs of its most vulnerable users; however, this transformation depends on the Government, the Department of Justice and all relevant stakeholders not only to introduce changes, but also to monitor their effectiveness and an ongoing commitment to be responsive to the needs of court users.
Download file: Submission on the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill