Family Court corruption assertions rejected by LCA
Australia’s peak advocacy body for the legal profession had pushed back against reports of corruption, including by those on the bench, in the Family Court of Australia.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, 13 January, the Law Council of Australia rejected assertions reported by Nine’s publishing division earlier in the week, quoting a Melbourne-based lawyer, that “the Family Court of Australia has many corruption issues” including “corrupt” judges.
Such comments, new LCA president Dr Jacoba Brasch QC said, “undermined public confidence” in the integrity of the courts as well as the rule of law.
“There is no doubt that family law is factually and legally complex, emotionally-charged and produces life-altering consequences for families and children,” she said.
“Judges of the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia perform this important work in a difficult, high-pressure environment that carries the risk of physical danger to themselves and their families.”
Judges also face the gravity of knowing that their decisions, especially regarding children, could in some instances provoke extreme responses resulting in violence to a child or a party, or in tragic cases death.
Moreover, Dr Brasch continued, Australia’s judges are held accountable for their decisions through processes including appeals and the Family Court’s and Federal Circuit Court’s Judicial Complaints Procedures.
“Any specific allegation should be raised through these processes, not aired in the media to tarnish the reputation of the Court and hard-working judicial officers,” she pointed out.