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Submissions open on Family Court Legislation Bill

December 18, 2020 at 3:38 PM

From the NZFVC

Submissions are open on the Family Court (Supporting Children In Court) Legislation Bill. The deadline to make a submission is 28 February 2021.

The Government introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill on 6 August 2020. This is an omnibus bill that would amend the Care of Children Act 2004 and the Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013. The bill has a number of provisions related to family violence and child custody, taking into account the rights of the child.

The Bill has been referred to the Justice Committee who is calling for submissions. 

The Justice Committee press release states:

"This bill aims to enhance child wellbeing in care-of-children proceeding. It would do so by making changes to court processes, and by requiring lawyers to take steps to resolve disputes by promoting conciliation."

The Committee also states:

"The changes would reinforce existing expectations about giving emphasis to the view of the child, giving better effect to children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The bill proposes to set expectations that children will be provided with opportunities to make inputs on decisions relating to their care. It would also require family violence to be taken into account for all decisions relating to the care of a child.

The bill also proposes to set new expectations for the appointment of lawyers representing children in the family court. The court would have to consider a lawyer’s personality, cultural background, training, and experience when appointing a lawyer to represent a child. The bill would also require a lawyer representing a child to explain the proceedings to the child in a manner that the child is able understand, when possible."

Submissions can be made online until 28 February 2021.

Click here for more information

Category: Submissions