More work to be done on Family Court reforms

Labor welcomes the government’s belated release of a key consultants’ report relevant to its planned restructure of the Family Court, after repeated requests from Labor and stakeholders.
 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
 
MORE WORK TO BE DONE ON FAMILY COURT REFORMS
 

Labor welcomes the government’s belated release of a key consultants’ report relevant to its planned restructure of the Family Court, after repeated requests from Labor and stakeholders.
 
However the release of the PwC report, Review of efficiency of the operation of the federal courts, does not make up for the government’s woeful lack of consultation ahead of the announcement of its reforms.
 
The current ructions in the court system, reported on in The Australian today, are a direct result of this lack of consultation.
 
The PwC report, which was completed in six weeks through a combination of “desktop assessment of court data” and “engagement with senior family law court stakeholders”, will now be thoroughly analysed and its assumptions tested. It is also vital to determine the extent to which the terms of reference given by the government to the authors of the report influenced its findings.
 
The report did not consider the potential impact of increasing funding to the courts in its assessment – a surprising and significant omission.
 
Labor is yet to see the government’s proposed legislation, and will reserve its position until that time.
 
FRIDAY, 17 AUGUST 2018