29 February 2020
FLPA calls for better legal aid funding management
The Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland (FLPA) welcomes the government’s announcement to provide more funding to Legal Aid Queensland for cases to which section 102NA of the Family Law Act 1975 applies but calls for an improved system for managing and monitoring the funding.
Following recent incidents where several trials needed to be adjourned in the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Queensland due to the shortfall of funding for Legal Aid Queensland to provide legal representation in section 102NA cases, the government has responded with providing more funding for this financial year.
FLPA president James Steel said despite the additional funding, cases have already been adjourned and will now need to wait until the courts have available time, in already busy lists, to hear the matters.
“FLPA welcomes the announcement for additional funding but believes the funding crisis occurred because there was no proper system to monitor the annual funding allocation following the introduction of section 102NA late last year,” said Mr Steel.
“Legal Aid Queensland needs to be properly funded by the government to ensure that section 102NA cases are not delayed.”
“The old saying of justice delayed is justice denied is particularly true in these cases. The victims that section 102NA was designed to protect need their family law matters dealt with in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”
Section 102NA prohibits the cross-examination of a witness personally by a former partner where there is an allegation of family violence between them and either party has been charged with or convicted of an offence involving violence or a threat of violence to the other party, or where a final family violence order applies as between both parties.
The Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland is the leading professional body for family law professionals in Queensland and is a proactive, professional, and collegiate association. The Association represents family lawyers, barristers and other family law practitioners.
For further information, please contact:
Caroline Thurlow | 0414 565 575 | firstname.lastname@example.org