More family cases should avoid court, top judge says
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The current counselling service was out of date and a new conciliation service was needed for those who may not require a court hearing, he said.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.