New Zealand Law Society - Public submissions on Family Court review begin next week

Public submissions on Family Court review begin next week

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The Independent Panel evaluating the 2014 reforms to the family justice system will be launching a public submissions process from Wednesday, 5 September.

The Panel wants to hear from people who have used family justice services to resolve a dispute about the care of their children after separation.

The public and interested groups will be able to make submissions in the eight-week period between 5 September and 9 November. Information about the submissions process, and links to make a submission to the Panel will be published on the Ministry of Justice website on 5 September.

“We want to ensure that as many people as possible can have their say, and don’t feel rushed if they want to share their experiences of the Family Court and the out-of-court services, like Family Dispute Resolution,” says the Panel’s Chair, Rosslyn Noonan, the former Chief Human Rights Commissioner.

Ms Noonan says people will be able to tell their stories with the Panel online, and can also choose to answer a survey about how the process worked, or didn’t work for them.

“One of the priorities for the Panel is to ensure that people feel safe when sharing their story,” she says.

“Separation can be an extremely stressful and confusing time, and people may wish to remain anonymous when telling us about their experiences. We are carefully designing the submissions process so that people don’t have to share their details if they don’t want to.”

The Panel also consists of Kaitaia family lawyer La-Verne King and Wellington family lawyer Chris Dellabarca. They are supported by an 11-member expert reference group.