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Law Society Bans Controversial Video

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:23 am Mon 15th November 2004

A video planned for recent Counsel For Child workshops in Wellington and Auckland run by the Family Law section of the New Zealand Law Society has been banned because it is critical of the NZ family Law system.

A former chairman of Men’s Center North Shore was invited to present to the workshops because of his experience as a self represented litigant in Family Court proceedings.

“I was pleased to be asked to present to the Law Society. I welcomed the opportunity to present the concerns of opponents of the Family Court and engage in constructive dialogue with Family Court practitioners to improve the way the Court deals with self represented litigants”, the former chairman says.

“When I was first approached by the society I was asked to talk about my experience of Counsel for Child as a self represented litigant. I explained to organisers I had only represented myself in a High Court appeal which did not involve Counsel for Child.”

“Organisers were delighted with my suggestion that I produce a video presenting my experience of the Family Court system and interview others who had more experience dealing with Counsel for Child as Mackenzie friends for other self represented litigants.”

“Unfortunately, when Law Society gatekeepers saw a draft transcript my invitation was withdrawn and the video effectively banned.”

“I believe criticism of Family Court professionals including Judges caused The Law Society major embarrassment. Furthermore, the inclusion of comment from National M.P. Judith Collins met with a chilly reception from workshop organisers.”

“In light of Judge Boshier’s recent comments about opening up the Family Court to closer scrutiny I was disappointed my video was deemed inappropriate to be shown to Law Society members. I acknowledge my video raises serious questions regarding the behaviour of professionals within the Family Court system but believed an audience of experienced Family Court practitioners could cope with the material.”

“While the material in the video is of a personal nature the issues raised are of public concern.”

Read a transcript of the video: The NZ Family Court: A Father’s Odyssey

Union of Fathers protestors picketed the Auckland workshop.

1 Comment »

  1. You have to wonder how open the “new” family court will really be…

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Fri 19th November 2004 @ 12:27 pm

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