Queensland Law Society

QLS backs Family Courts Chief Justice’s call for more funding

Date 21 Jun 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society has voiced its support for the Safety First in Family Law proposals and echoed the calls for more funding made by The Family Violence Committee of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts of Australia.

Society president Bill Potts said: “It is vital that we do what we can to combat the scourge of family and domestic violence, but that needs more than just recommendations, it needs action – and action costs money.”

“In addition to the funds needed to implement the proposals, we also need more judges in both the Family and Federal Courts – there is no getting around that fact.”

Mr Potts said that more judges meant matters would get resolved more quickly and that this often helped reduce family violence.

“The Society provides a service chasing up delayed judgements for its members and the Federal Circuit and Family Courts are regular targets of these efforts for the simple reason that they don’t have enough judges to handle the immense workload they face,” he said.

“There are plenty of talented lawyers in Queensland who could and would make fine judges if extra positions were funded.

Mr Potts’ comments follow a call by Family Court of Australia Chief Justice Diana Bryant for $17m in funding for family violence initiatives.

“There has been considerable focus on family violence by governments recently, and pleasingly, announcements have been made providing additional funding,” Chief Justice Bryant said.

“However, there is a glaring omission as to where funding should be allocated and that is to the courts dealing with family law. The Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court are at the coal face in dealing with families impacted by family violence, and yet there has not been one extra dollar provided to the Courts.”

Federal Circuit Court Chief Justice John Pascoe agreed, saying:  “The Courts have worked tirelessly over the years to provide judges and staff with ongoing professional development to ensure that cases with family violence allegations or risk indicators are appropriately supported, screened, assessed and adjudicated.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.