Anthony Mahon: ten years ago very justifiable concern about gender bias in Family Court
The 7th June edition of The Court Report on TV7 featured an interview with Anthony Mahon, co-author of the Law Society’s submission on the current Family Court review, and Deborah Hart, executive director of the Arbitrators & Mediators Institute. They were discussing the recent 70% increase in costs of running the Family Court, with no corresponding increase in productivity.
It’s well worth a watch.
Linda Clark made the important point that public perception is one of the drivers of Family Court dysfunction:
“Whenever you look at any of these issues, one of the things that bubbles under the surface is an unease about the Family Court because of persistant claims from father’s groups that this is a Court which has a gender bias.”
Mahon responded by acknowledging that up to 30% of children loose all meaningful contact with their fathers within five years of parental separation. Then to my surprise, he admitted:
“There was a very justifiable concern about gender bias ten years ago.”
He then went on to claim the Family Court has since made huge strides to change, that society has changed but legislative processes lag, etc.
He also told Linda that part of the blowout in costs was caused by “more complex cases”, which Linda not only failed to challenge, but even repeated as if it were fact when later interviewing Minister for Courts Chester Borrows. Have people and their relationship issues really changed significantly in the last ten years? I don’t think so.
It was interesting to see Borrows proudly wearing his white ribbon to signal his open allegiance to a gender-biased social campaign! I don’t think he gets it.