LIV welcomes family violence training in major courts
New training programs designed to improve court responses to family violence have been welcomed by Victoria’s premier legal body.
Last week, the Chief Justice of the Family Court and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Honourable Will Alstergren, announced that court staff would be undertaking further training in response to increased family violence.
The call for continued professional development and training has been addressed in a number of inquiries, including the 2017 Australian parliamentary inquiry into a better family law system to protect those affected by family violence, which specifically recommended that law practitioners receive world-leading training.
The training will be hosted by US-based Safe & Together and its executive director David Mandel. The program is internationally recognised and has been endorsed by many family and domestic violence experts.
“How the courts address issues of family violence are the most challenging, but most critical area, of the court’s work. It is imperative that we continually review our training and knowledge in this area of work,” Chief Justice Alstergren said.
“With this in mind, the courts are very pleased to have engaged the services of Mr Mandel to deliver training this year that will focus on issues such as the protection of children in the context of family violence, identification of protective parenting, coercive controlling behaviours and the impact of family violence on children.”
Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) family law section chair Nicky Neville-Jones welcomed the steps taken by the courts to further improve its ability to resolve family disputes.
“This initiative, coupled with other recent announcements and new programs introduced by the courts, including The Lighthouse Project, will provide stronger foundations so that the mistreated and the vulnerable can be even more supported as they navigate the court system,” Ms Neville-Jones said.