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Select Committee Report

June 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Our full summary is here

There are a number of changes promoted by the Select Committee which are partially in line with our submission’s requests.  Some include:

  • The clause making FDR free for those eligible for legal aid.
  • Allowing protected person and respondent programme providers to provide safety information back to the court and requirement to feed this on to protected persons.
  • Improving definition of FDR and PIP and setting out the requirements of these in the Act.
  • Allowing judges to override provisions preventing legal representation

There are still major areas of concern, however:

  • The new Bill places greater emphasis on judges as the gate keepers to legal representation which means that access will vary from judge to judge/court to court.
  • FDR remains and is strengthened but the overriding principle of diminished access to court has not been addressed.
  • Bill sends message that CoCA applicants must first apply for a protection order in order to gain the right to have the court assess the safety of their children when there is domestic violence.
  • CoCA still does not define safety of a child.
  • Final parenting orders are still preferred over interim orders.
  • No set of best practice principles for the Family Court.
  • Those applying to the court for exemptions from FDR because of DV must still provide an affidavit if not under a protection order.

 We’ll keep you posted of further developments as they arise.

Category: Submissions