The 14th National Family Law Conference commenced in Canberra last night (18 October) and kicked-off with the launch of a best practice guide for family lawyers.
The best practice guidelines, officially launched by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, were prepared by a joint committee of the family law section of the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and the Family Law Council. It aims to encourage best practice in family law through a constructive and conciliatory approach to the resolution of family disputes.
"The guidelines provide a comprehensive resource for family lawyers across a wide range of issues they deal with in every day practice," McClelland said. "The guidelines also provide advice on alternative dispute resolution and access to legal assistance - two priority areas for the government."
In his opening address to conference delegates, LCA president Glenn Ferguson emphasised the important role of the LCA's family law section in shaping family law in Australia.
"The Law Council has a strategic policy agenda which includes a number of areas of relevance to family law practitioners," Ferguson said.
"The reform of the national legal profession, access to justice, recruitment and retention of lawyers in regional rural and remote Australia, equal opportunity for female lawyers and collaborative law are some of the issues the Law Council will continue to take a leading role in."
According to Ferguson, the theme of this year's conference is "Footprint of family - leaving a lasting impression", featuring a selection of guest speakers from Australia and abroad.
The National Family Law Conference runs from 18-22 October.