The Chief Justice of the Family Court (Federal Circuit Court) John Pascoe, has demanded greater access to information in respect of matters pertaining to family violence.

The Chief Justice has highlighted that the Commonwealth/State Privacy legislation, and the lack of resources and funding being granted to the Family Court system is crippling judicial administration, to the point where the Court is being hamstrung in its endeavour to provide protection, inter alia, to children facing or involved in family violence situations.

With both the Federal Government and the Queensland State Government limiting funding to the Courts, and by consequence the lack of further and necessary judicial appointments to the Bench, the position is becoming increasingly dire. Gold Coast and Queensland Family Solicitors generally encourage all of their clients to engage in mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution, to ensure timely, cost effective results (this is also enshrined in the legislation). Unfortunately, this is not always an option, particularly in family violence matters where recourse to the Court may be necessary to protect the welfare of a family member.

In our view, the bureaucratic red tape that the Newman Government has promised to erode, needs to be extended (with caution) to the private arena – particularly when the issue is paramount to children’s welfare and serving justice.

The comments of the Chief Justice should echo loudly in our State and Commonwealth politician’s ears:

“I think one of the problems for the protection of children is that the family law system is completely separate to the state systems,” he said. “Where there are state welfare authorities involved, we need to get a lot more information in the family court system”.

“Access to justice is about having your case really properly and carefully considered. That involves both time and resources and I think it’s fair to say resourcing is a matter for government, but in this court you can see the court is very stretched”.

Our family Law solicitors are here to assist if you have any concerns with issues involving family domestic violence matters, so please do not hesitate to contact Affinity Family Lawyers on (07) 5563 8970, or email us at