The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia today released the Family Violence Best Practice Principles, which are designed to provide practical guidance to courts, legal practitioners, service providers, litigants and others involved in cases where issues of family violence or child abuse arise.
At the National Family Law Conference in Hobart today, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon officially launched the third edition of the Family Violence Best Practice Principles.
The Best Practice Principles are applicable in all cases involving family violence or child abuse or the risk of family violence or child abuse in family law proceedings before the courts.
The principles were initially developed by the Family Court following the introduction of significant changes to the Family Law Act in 2006. In addition, major amendments to the Act were introduced this year that specifically relate to addressing issues of family violence. The Court believes that these principles are a valuable tool for all individuals and agencies involved in family law cases.
As previously stated by the Attorney-General upon the introduction of this year’s amendments to the Family Law Act, this continued focus on addressing issues of family violence sends a clear message that violence has no place on our society.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant AO said there has been significant progress over recent years in enhancing the communication between those who have a role in family law and in the protection of children.
“I sincerely hope that the further development of these principles will assist with the protection of families and children who are engaged with the family law system from the effects of family violence,” Chief Justice Bryant added.
Chief Federal Magistrate John Pascoe AO CVO said that it is important for the courts to engage with legal practitioners and other professionals to ensure that we focus on how to better assist people who are affected by family violence.
“The courts take family violence very seriously and these principles reinforce our commitment to addressing this difficult and complex issue,” Chief Federal Magistrate Pascoe said.
The Best Practice Principles recognise:
- the harmful effects of family violence and abuse on victims
- the place accorded to the issue of family violence in the FLA and
- the principles guiding the Magellan case management system for the disposition of cases involving allegations of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse of children.
A full copy of the Family Violence Best Practice Principles is available from the Family Law Courts website at www.familylawcourts.gov.au.
Media contact: Denise Healy, Media & Public Affairs Manager