New Zealand Law Society - Family Court reform review for 2017

Family Court reform review for 2017

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A review of the Family Court law reforms is scheduled to begin in 2017, Justice Minister Amy Adams has told Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee.

In its report on the 2016/17 Estimates for Vote Justice and Vote Courts, the committee says Ms Adams has said initial planning for the review is under way.

The committee notes its concern that, in February 2016, more than 80% of applications made under the Care of Children Act 2004 were filed as "without notice" applications.

"We wondered whether this indicated that there were delays within the Family Court. The Minister [Amy Adams] said that a judge determines whether an application is appropriate and that not all would be heard without notice," the committee says.

"She also said that the reforms have resulted in several improvements. For example, more cases are able to be resolved through dispute resolution, which allows families to contribute to successful outcomes and frees up court time for serious cases."