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Fri 12th August 2005

More family cases should avoid court, top judge says

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 8:40 am

More cases involving children should be dealt with outside court or by someone other than a judge, the principal Family Court judge says.

In a speech tonight to the Auckland Family Courts Association, Judge Boshier said the changes were needed to maintain confidence and reduce delays as requested by Parliament.

He said: “Better processes could be created for New Zealanders using our Family Court. These can occur in both a better conciliation service and in better use of the Family Court itself.”

The current counselling service was out of date and a new conciliation service was needed for those who may not require a court hearing, he said.

Judge Boshier said in cases involving violence or sexual abuse, delay was the “single greatest injurious factor”.

“Only children’s cases involving risk to welfare of children should enter the Family Court directly and be closely managed and determined by judges,” he said.

2 Responses to “More family cases should avoid court, top judge says”

  1. Sparx says:

    Yeah, Right!

  2. Mags says:

    Certainly the approach of court documents need to be revamped as the Ministry of Justice Info sheet for family counselling’s main outline is about ending relationships and dealing with issues of the care of your children.Sure the counsellor’s job is to determine the issues between each party. But given the fact that what happens in counselling can not be transferred to the Family Courts Attention, is just another wasted avenue in a number of ways. If the attitudes of either Party is unwillingly to at least try to work things out, and believe that certain Myths of who will get day-to-day care and contact will better benefit them to refuse any proposals or considere the children’s relationship with both parent in this stage, a default of 50/50 should automatically be put in place for care of the children. At present if agreements have been put in place by either counsellors or lawyers without a court stamped Memorandum of Consent that clearly outlines issues and contact, including Guardianship issues, it does not hold up in court if at any stage it’s abused by either party as it is not recognised as a court order. Hopefully Mediation Panels can remain neutral, who can avoid the stagma of Myths being transferred into their decisions.

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