find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Avoid ‘empty rhetoric’ in domestic violence reforms, CJ appeals

Avoid ‘empty rhetoric’ in domestic violence reforms, CJ appeals

The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant AO, has challenged the nation's leaders to finance reforms to improve the handling of cases involving domestic violence.

A petition calling for reform of Australia’s family law system was received by federal politicians in Melbourne this week.

Speaking at the symbolic event, attended by Coalition, Labor and Australian Greens politicians, the Chief Justice said that without federal money to implement the plan she was there to support, it was simply "empty rhetoric". She added that a contribution as little as $6 million could help the court start making changes, the ABC reports.

"New measures and initiatives can't be met from existing resources.

"My message is the court would like to implement measures consistent with the five-point plan but all aspects affecting the courts would require a financial investment," the Chief Justice said.

The five-step plan to prioritise safety in the family law system addresses legal hurdles in the court system, which make it difficult for vulnerable families to escape dangerous circumstances.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty presented a petition of 21,000 signatures to federal minister for women senator Michaelia Cash, shadow minister for women senator Claire Moore and Australian Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale at the function. The plan was released by the Women’s Legal Services Australia as part of the ‘Never Alone’ campaign for the Luke Batty Foundation.

The plan calls for new laws to prevent cross-examination of victims by their alleged abusers in court, additional funding for legal aid and mediation services with specialist lawyers and social workers. It also urges more support for women with disabilities, women who are based in regional and remote areas or who face particular access to justice barriers.

Over 90 organisations signed an open letter to the nation’s leaders urging they embrace the five-point family law reform plan.

Queensland Law Society President Bill Potts also echoed the Chief Justice's position, stressing the importance of serious financial commitment for family law. 
"It is vital that we do what we can to combat the scourge of family and domestic violence, but that needs more than just recommendations, it needs action - and action costs money," Mr Potts said.
"In addition to the funds needed to implement the proposals we also need more judges in both the Family and Federal Courts - there is no getting around that fact," he said.
The Family Violence Committee of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts called for $17 million to be adequately directed to resourcing courts this week.
"There is a glaring omission as to where funding should be allocated and that is to the courts dealing with family law. The Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court are at the coal face in dealing with families impacted by family violence, and yet there has not been one extra dollar provided to the courts," CJ Bryant said.
Federal Circuit Court Chief Justice John Pascoe added: "The courts have worked tirelessly over the years to provide judges and staff with ongoing professional development to ensure that cases with family violence allegations of risk indicators are appropriately supported, screened and adjudicated."

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

Avoid ‘empty rhetoric’ in domestic violence reforms, CJ appeals
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
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'...
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...
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 & ...