Opposition to Family Court reforms at Select Committee hearings
Thu 07 Mar 2013
Opposition to Family Court reforms has been expressed by judges, family lawyers and domestic violence services at Select Committee hearings this ...
Opposition to Family Court reforms has been expressed by judges, family lawyers and domestic violence services at Select Committee hearings this week. Judges took the rare step of speaking out in Christchurch. Speaking on behalf of the city's seven Family Court judges, Judge Robert Murfitt said "Judges will not be confident they can make decisions that will keep children safe."
In Auckland, SHINE (Safer Homes In New Zealand Everyday) said the most dangerous part of the proposed legislation is the proposal to have the Bristol clause removed. The clause requires judges not to grant custody to a parent or former partner who has been abusive if they have fears for the child's safety. It introduced after Alan Bristol killed his three daughters in 1994 while they were in his custody, despite him facing charges of assaulting his wife. Spokesperson Jill Proudfoot said, "A person who has harmed the primary caregiver of their child - the mother of their child usually - cannot be a good daddy."
Submissions made on the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill are now available here.
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