Criticisms of Family Court reforms continue; legal aid charges for family cases reduced
Fri 12 Oct 2012
Concerns continue to be expressed about the Family Court reforms announced in August. Members of the Expert Reference Group set up to provide ...
Concerns continue to be expressed about the Family Court reforms announced in August. Members of the Expert Reference Group set up to provide independent advice to the review have made a statement saying they were not consulted on key aspects of the proposed changes and that these will potentially place adults and children at risk. Chair of the Reference Group Antony Mahon said, "In cases where children are living in situations of violence and abuse, it will be harder to recognise. Hidden power and control dynamics in relationships will mean parents are intimidated into agreeing to settlements which disadvantage them or their children."
The New Zealand Law Society has also expressed concern about proposed changes to interim orders and legal representation.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Judith Collins has announced that new legal aid charges for family cases would be reduced from $100 to $50. Interest would be imposed from six months after the final amount of legal aid debt was finalised, rather than being charged immediately.
Image: 'A little justice' by Orange Sparrow. Licence Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)