find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Family Court takeover will not solve funding crisis

Family Court takeover will not solve funding crisis

Family law

The integration of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts into the Federal Court will not address serious resourcing issues, according to the Law Council of Australia.

Attorney-General George Brandis is set to announce changes to the court system, which will see the Federal Court take over the running of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts.

The change will see the Federal Court take over services such as payroll, communications and commonwealth vehicles for judges.

Rick O’Brien, the chair of the Law Council of Australia’s family law section, told The Australian that the changes would not address the “fundamental problem” of drastic under-resourcing.

Family law barrister Michael Kearney SC said the proposal was an exercise in “penny-pinching” and that there was “no logical rationale for seeking to divest the courts in the family law sphere of their independent operation and funding”.

The Family and Federal Circuit Court deficit was a loss of $4.7m in 2014-15. Without reform the courts are predicted to make a loss of around $75 million by 2017-18, according to a report by KPMG given to Senator Brandis 18 months ago.

Meanwhile, the Federal Court brought in $500,000 in 2014-15.

The Law Society of NSW has warned that cutting funding and not replacing retiring judges are both causing trial delays. The average waiting time for trial in the Family Court in Sydney is 18.4 months, with some groups waiting up to three years. 

The reform may have difficulty passing the Senate as the Greens are opposed to the changes.

Greens legal affairs spokesman Nick McKim said the expertise of family law staff in the courts was not easily replaced.

“Family Court staff across all areas have experience dealing with families in crisis, which is not something easily measured on a balance sheet,” he said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017


Family Court takeover will not solve funding crisis
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...