There has been much commentary over the past week with regard to the announcement made by the Attorney General on 30 May 2018 to amalgamate the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA).
The Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland (FLPA) takes this opportunity to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the judiciary, both in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, in assisting families through very difficult periods in their lives.
In response to the Attorney General’s announcement that the Appeal Division of the Family Court will be discontinued, and noting recent various published news articles about the Appeals Division, it is incumbent on FLPA to especially acknowledge the tireless work of the Judges of the Appeal Division of the Family Court of Australia. The Appeals Judges, many of whom hail from Queensland, have worked efficiently and effectively over many years to deliver a very high level of specialised family law jurisprudence that has assisted Australian families.
FLPA has previously advocated for and lobbied the Government, along with other practitioner’s associations and stakeholders, for greater funding to meet the increased need for the services of the Courts. It is noted that no further resourcing for the Australian family law system accompanied the Attorney General’s announcement and funding referred to was limited to the cost of the restructure.
FLPA was not consulted in relation to the proposed FCFCA or notified of the Attorney General’s announcement directly.
Whilst some of the specifics of the Attorney General’s announcement are not yet known, given the specialised and nuanced nature of family law work, FLPA hopes that any judge hearing any appeal from the FCFCA in the future has the same high level of specialised family law expertise as the current Appeal Division.
FLPA is dedicated to continuing to work with the Courts in a constructive and complementary manner to effect whatever changes are implemented by the Government in relation to the Attorney General’s announcement and any subsequent announcements following from the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission.