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
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Confidentiality in family law requires more clarity

Confidentiality in family law requires more clarity

A new report has made key proposals in relation to the disclosure of sensitive material in family law matters, in a bid to decrease the impact on victims of domestic and family violence.

Last week the Women’s Legal Service NSW (WLS NSW) released a research report titled Sense and Sensitivity, which looks at the unintended consequences of the disclosure of sensitive materials in family law proceedings involving family violence.

“We must examine the impact of disclosure of sensitive material on the safety of victims and their children, and how disclosure impacts the integrity of professional relationships, both current and future,” said Carolyn Jones, WLS NSW senior solicitor.

“Family law is particularly confusing. There are statutory protections of confidentiality and inadmissibility for records created by certain professionals in some contexts, whilst other sensitive records are produced via subpoena with often no consideration of the impact on victims.”

The report, which was launched by domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, made 10 proposals in relation to information sharing, therapeutic records and subpoenas.

“We need people with expertise in family law, family violence and therapeutic service provision to work together to develop guidelines to ensure a victim-centric approach to obtaining and using sensitive records,” Ms Jones said.

“The family law system must adopt a broader responsibility for victim parents by ensuring that records of supportive and therapeutic services are shielded from the perpetrator so that victims can focus on recovery and their capacity to care for their children.”

Ms Jones said that despite variable resources and long delays, more certainty must be given about when records may be provided to courts.

“This could be achieved by an amendment to court rules placing an onus on the party seeking access to therapeutic records to establish that there is no less intrusive source of evidence available, and a pilot project to assist victims and therapeutic service providers to object to family law subpoenas.”

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

Confidentiality in family law requires more clarity
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
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 & ...