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Funding and administration of the Family Court of Australia / Joint Select Committee on Certain Family Law Issues
Bib ID 2413640
Format BookBook
Author
Australia. Parliament. Joint Select Committee on Certain Family Law Issues
 
Description [Canberra] : Australian Govt. Pub. Service, 1995 
xii, 141 p. : maps, ports. ; 25 cm. 
ISBN 0642235449
Invalid ISBN 0644346086
Summary

The Joint Committee recommends that: (a) there should be regular reviews of the management and administration of the Family Court of Australia, which are external to the court, and the Attorney-General should discuss the mechanisms for the review process with the court; (b) where the Family Court of Australian believes that changing circumstances have resulted in a variation to its workloads, it should negotiate appropriate changes to the agreed workload formula with the Department of Finance, to take account of projected service demand; (c) in order to improve client services and management efficiency, and given the failure of the existing system to meet adequately the current needs of the Family Court of Australia, the Family Court update its information technology platform and that this be funded through a resource agreement with the Department of Finance; (d) the Family Court of Australia continue to be subject to the efficiency dividend,

noting that judicial salaries are exempt, and that the Family Court's position be reexamined when the review of the efficiency dividend, with its focus on small agencies, is carried out after the 1996-97b Budget; (e) the Family Court of Australia order its priorities to ensure that funds are available to preserve and enhance its client focus, and that the court work with staff and the representatives of staff to fund adequately those aspects of court administration with high levels of client contact; (f) the Family Court of Australia establish a mechanism to provie a cost-benefit analysis for all future expenditure proposals, to set priorities for such proposals in the context of the court's budget and to review the subsequent effectiveness of those proposals which are implemented against the criteria by which they were approved; (g) the Auditor-General conduct an efficiency audit of the Family Court of Australia;

(h) the judicial structure of the Family Court of Australia be a two-tiered structure of the judiciary and the registrars; (i) the existing judicial registrars be appointed judicial registrars under chapter III of the Constitution to be part of the judiciary of the Family Court of Australia with the following conditions: (i) they would continue to be called judicial registrars; (ii) they would exercise their current jurisdicton but as they will be exercising full judicial powers there will be no need to maintain a requirement for their decisions to be reviewed by way of a hearing de novo; and (iii) they would continue to be remunerated at their present level: the level of an Australian Capital Territory magistrate; (j) the number of judicial registrars be increased without increasing the total number of judicial officers of the Family Court of Australia;

(k) the delegated powers of existing registrar be increased to enable them to hear and type of interim application; (l) in the longer term consideration be given to the Family Court of Australia becoming a division of the Federal Court of Australia and that the establishment of a federal magistracy be considered at that time; (ma) the Attorney-General approach the State Attorneys-General and seek agreement to the development of a comprehensive training program for a limited number of appropriate State magistrates who would specialise in family law particularly in outer suburban, provincial and rural areas; (mb) State magistrates exercising family law jurisdiction: (i) have direct access tot he Family Court of Australia for advice and research assistance; and (ii) have access to the court counselling service, in the local area where possible;

(mc) after specialist State magistrates receive appropriate training, section 96(4)(a) of the Family Law Act 1975 be repealed to eliminate the restriction that an appeal from a court of summary jurisdiction proceeds by way of a hearing de novo; and (md) the jurisdiction in property matters in courts of summary jurisdiction be increased to $300 000 (the current level of judicial registrar's jurisdiction; (n) the Attorney-General seek to renegotiate the agreement with the Government of South Australia to allow the use of local courts in the areas outside Adelaide's central business district; (o) alternative dispute resolution processes including mediation by pursued in the family law area but be community based rather than through existing Family Court of Australia structures;

(p) the Family Court of Australia develop and implement a best practice model to ensure effective liaison and cooperation with outside service providers on a national basis; (q) while recognising that the Family Court of Australia will always require direct access to counselling services, in the long term there are benefits in having counselling based in the community through structures such as the Noble Park centre in Melbourne, community legal centres and organisations like Relationships Australia on a flexible and competitive basis; (r) reconciliation counselling be provided by community based centres and therefore the statutory obligation imposed on the Family Court of Australia to provide or perform reconciliation counselling be repealed;

(s) the Family Court of Australia work with the community based sector to provide information sessions, conducted by an experienced family law practitioner, which incorporate information about the operation of the Family Law Act 1975 and the procedures and processes of the Family Court; (t) a study be conducted to determine what the legal costs of trials in the Family Court of Austraila are to litigants; and (ua) the judicial control of the Family Court of Australia's administrative structures be vested in a collegiate system determined by the judicial officers of the court and expressed in the Rules of Court; and (ub) the present regional management structure be abolished and the administrative functons of the Family Court of Australia be centralised at the principal office of the Court under the day-to-day management structure determined by the collegiate body of judges.te is p.

Full contents
  • 1. The inquiry
  • 2. Statutory functions of the Family Court of Australia
  • 3. The Family Court of Australian and self administration
  • 4. Funding of the Family Court of Australia
  • 5. Judicial structure of the Family Court of Australia
  • 6. Courts exercising family law jurisdiction
  • 7. Ancillary services of the Family Court of Australia
  • 8. Management structure of the Family Court of Australia
  • Appendix 1. List of submissions
  • Appendix 2. Program of public hearings
 
Notes

At head of title: The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

"November 1995".

Chairmen: Roger Price (to 6 June 1995) ; Martyn Evans (from 7 June 1995).

Includes bibliographical references.

Also published in Parliament ed. 1995.

At head of title: The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Chairmen: Roger Price (to 6 June 1995) ; Martyn Evans (from 7 June 1995).

Subjects Australia. Family Court -- Management.  |  Australia. Family Court -- Appropriations and expenditures.  |  Family Law Act 1975.  |  Family law -- Australia.
Other authors/contributors Price, Roger, 1945-  |  Evans, Martyn, 1953-
Terms of Use Commonwealth of Australia 1995. 

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