News

Family Law Courts Merger Fails!

April 5, 2019

In breaking news, the proposed court merger bills have failed to win support of the Senate and have not been passed into law.

The Government did not bring the bills before the Senate this week, having failed to win the cross-bench numbers needed to gain passage of the legislation.

The Law Council of Australia and its Family Law Section have long campaigned that Australian families will be better off with a stand-alone, specialised Family Court.

Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said the deeply flawed model had the potential of putting vulnerable families and children at risk of inadequate legal outcomes.

“The Family Court is a vital cornerstone of our legal system. Its work is highly specialised and it deals with some of the most difficult and complex family law matters,” Mr Moses said.

“We applaud the crossbenchers who took the time to listen to our reasoning, considered this advice, and came to the decision that this was not the right way forward for Australian families and children.”

Mr Moses said the Government’s perseverance in trying to ram the merger through parliament was ill conceived.

“Merging one court with another does not address significant underlying issues, including chronic underfunding and under-resourcing, which have led to crippling delays, pressures and costs.

“There is no doubt the family law system is in need of reform but this was not the way forward. Our courts need much more funding than they currently receive, and more judges, registrars and counsellors must be appointed.