Family Law Changes Officially Announced

When I was first elected, I spoke at length with the Prime Minister and Attorney General, George Brandis about Family Law reform.

I successfully received an inquiry into Family Law. The first in 40 years.

Although the inquiry isn’t complete, I met last night with the Attorney General, Christian Porter who informed me of the immediate changes he is implementing as a result of early findings.

These are the same recommendations my office put to the AG at the start.

This is a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go to ensure equal rights in our family law system.

When I was first elected, I spoke at length with the Prime Minister and Attorney General, George Brandis about Family…

Posted by Pauline Hanson's Please Explain on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Matthew DoranABC News

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court will be combined as part of sweeping changes to the financially and emotionally crippling family law system, in an announcement by the Attorney-General Christian Porter today.

The decision comes before a broader review, which looks into the painstakingly slow way in which the nation’s strained family law system operates, delivers its findings next year.

The changes will come into effect from the beginning of 2019, in what the Federal Government is arguing will speed up the process of settling family disputes.

“We have two parallel courts, different rules, forms, procedures, individuals who are in the system get bounced around like Family Law footballs from one court to the other — terrible outcomes for them,” Mr Porter told the ABC’s AM program.

“They wait too long and that just makes life worse in these very difficult circumstances.”

The Family Court currently hears family law cases involving complex financial arrangements, trusts, serious parenting arguments, allegations of child abuse in custody arrangements and protracted family disputes.

The Federal Circuit Court deals with the rest.

Appeals from the newly formed court, to be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA), would also be heard by the Federal Court under the new arrangements.

Nearly a year-and-a-half wait to reach trial

Some 22,000 cases are filed across the two courts each year, and Mr Porter said delays in the family law system meant most cases were taking almost a year and a half just to reach trial.

He argued the merger was warranted given there is already significant crossover in jurisdiction and procedures of the two courts, and could result in an extra 8,000 cases being resolved each year.

“Everyone that you talked to who understands the court system, but particularly the tens of thousands of Australians who use it, know that the system at the moment does not work at all well,” Mr Porter said.

“Twenty-two thousand matters are listed for final order in these courts every year, representing tens of thousands of Australians, and our priority is to get better outcomes for those Australians.”

Funding pressure, delays in appointing judges

It is unclear whether the changes will satisfy critics of the way the family law system, who argue funding pressures and delays in appointing judges to the bench are key reasons why the system is inefficient and struggling to cope with case loads.

Last year, the former Chief Justice of the Family Court demanded more funding.

The former attorney-general, George Brandis, announced a “long overdue” review of the family law system in September — the first since the dedicated court was established in the late 1970s.

The Australian Law Reform Commission is due to report back to the Government by March 2019.

Mr Porter defended making the announcement before those findings were delivered.

“It was a matter of such obviousness that the present structure was not working and was causing inefficiencies and duplications and delays that we considered that we could make the structural change,” he said.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus cast doubt on the merit of the merger.

“We’ve got concerns about the near-complete lack of consultation that’s occurred here,” Mr Dreyfus told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“It appears that judges were not consulted, that family groups and the sector weren’t consulted, family lawyers were not consulted.

“And the Government has decided that this is somehow the result of inefficiencies in the court system.”

The current Chief Justice, John Pascoe, was appointed to the role last year after being the head of the Federal Circuit Court.

But he will be forced to retire by the end of the year, as he hits the statutory retirement age for judges.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has campaigned for changes to the family law system, including calling for the abolition of the Family Court altogether.

8 replies
  1. Peter Rowswell
    Peter Rowswell says:

    Let’s hope this is a step forward for.all broken families in ensuring legal fees are.minimised, men, women and children are all dealt with equally. People’s lives have been destroyed mentally and financially. The only winners have been the legal profession who have set up the system to maximise their own profit. Disgraceful.

    • Ben
      Ben says:

      I agree wholeheartedly.
      The current setup is pain for all family members. Let’s hope some changes come through that will speed up the process and reduce the cost and pain involved.
      Family breakdowns are not games to be played with at the expense of people’s lives or to be used to make a profit from.

  2. scott
    scott says:

    As much as I admire Pauline and her efforts these reforms will bring no changes that bring any justice.

    Pauline’s campaign for the abolition of the Family Court altogether is the only call that makes sense…..

    Even a cursory examination reveals that the system does so much harm to children it is supposed to protect. All the politicians know how the corrupt Family Court has no justice (particularly for fathers and children) as over 90% of the decisions are in favor of the female.

    The Politicians know this, the Legal fraternity knows this… Since when socialist Whitlam introduced it in the 1970’s it has progressively got far worse as solicitors have realized the destruction of the nuclear family is a very profitable business model for them.

    Charles Christian Porter is an Australian politician and lawyer Attorney General, I do not trust a lawyer do anything that will negatively impact on his Lawyer buddies.

  3. Ken
    Ken says:

    Hi Pauline ,
    Shaw you on T. V. Keep up the good work so very proud of you, You are our Rock,
    just so admire you.

  4. Neil Reynolds
    Neil Reynolds says:

    The real problem here is the adversarial solicitor system, which promotes argument between the parties, not peaceful cooperation to find solutions. The system gives the legal practitioners encouragement to prolong the argument so they get bigger fees. The focus should be on the client, not the legal practitioner’s income.

  5. Russell Mansfield
    Russell Mansfield says:

    Hi Pauline
    I admire you and support your beliefs in general.
    However, I believe that income tax has become so rorted that we need to look at a fairer, yet unavoidable means of collecting tax from companies and individuals.
    As I see it, most salaries of $250, 000 or more, after various dubious deductions, pay less than 10% tax. Companies with turnover of 10 million or more launder their profits overseas and pay little or no tax at all here in Australia.

    1. We have to reduce company tax to say 10% to remain competitive with other countries at the same time disallowing any deductions claimed through overseas loans or subsidiaries. Simultaneously removing personal income tax completely for all salaries earned in Australia.

    2. We have to increase GST to 27% for ALL sales and services and goods with NO exemptions.
    At the same time introducing stricter penalties for those who provide or accept work for “black” (undeclared) cash and increasing all government pensions/ doles/allowances by 27%.

    4. We need to return to some form of protectionism by immediately placing an import duty of 20% on ALL imported goods regardless of sale price. This will open the way to more local industries with more jobs and prevent us competing with the “slave” wages of India, China, Africa and Vietnam.

    I foresee such a system bringing at least 20% more revenue even after raising the standard of living for those on government assistance. And more importantly , providing work for millions of young people where robotics and mechanisation are continually reducing our working population.

    Russell Mansfield
    03 977 33 271

  6. Michael buis
    Michael buis says:

    Get rid of lawyers including the one’s that became judges and it’s about time each state and territory took over these failed courts cause then you can see how each state start to give the children both parents instead of the biased system now !! Would make judges more accountable for there life destroying mistakes they are making now !! If we are making complaints about the system we want to be heard and not fogged of with its federal government problems !!

  7. Wayne Butcher
    Wayne Butcher says:

    I would like Parental Alianation to be recognised as this is REAL and effects both Men and Women, It’s the ULTIMATE HATE CRIME, I haven’t seen my kids for 3years and
    The only reason is the mother,,,and I ran out of money 110 thousand dollars to date
    And still no hope of seeing my kids not good enough to be in there life’s but good enough to pay maximum child support because of zero contact in which I have no control over.


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