Family lawyers have described as “bizarre” a proposal for the Federal Court to take over the running of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court and say the reforms will do nothing to fix the serious backlog of family law cases.
The Turnbull government could also face difficulty pushing the reforms through the Senate, with the Greens warning they had “serious concerns”.
As revealed by The Australian, Attorney-General George Brandis is set to unveil plans for the Federal Court to take over the running of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts, including services such as payroll, communications and commonwealth vehicles for judges.
The reforms come after a report by consultants KPMG, handed to Senator Brandis more than 18 months ago, warned the courts were on track for a collective deficit of almost $75 million by 2017-18 and that their existing funding model was “financially unsustainable”.
In the Federal Circuit Court’s annual report tabled this week, Chief Judge John Pascoe said nine judges had retired over the past year and not all had been replaced. The Family and Federal Circuit Court recorded a combined $4.7m loss in 2014-15, while the Federal Court had a $500,000 surplus.
Greens legal affairs spokesman Nick McKim told The Australian the Greens had “serious concerns” about how the change would affect the Family and Federal Circuit Courts and the potential loss of family law expertise.
“Family Court staff across all areas have experience dealing with families in crisis, which is not something easily measured on a balance sheet.”
Full article: http://www.theaustralian.com.auBack to News
The closest train stations are Town Hall, taking the Park Street exit, or St James Station, taking the Elizabeth Street exit. John R Quinn & Co. is on the corner of Park and Elizabeth.
Best parking is in the Domain parking station. Take the moving footway and cross Hyde Park to reach our offices.