May 15, 2020
Little moves to fix Family Court
National’s botched overhaul of the Family Court is to be fixed thanks to a $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Justice Minister Andrew Little says the pandemic has caused a backlog of cases and the court needs to respond effectively.
The changes include restoring the right to legal representation at the start of a case in the Family Court;
– Allowing parties to access legal aid;
– Establish Family Justice Liaison Officers to help parents and whānau navigate the system;
– Increasing pay for lawyers for children to incentivise the recruitment and retention of skilled practitioners.
Mr Little says the 2014 family justice reforms made by the previous National government simply haven’t worked, and instead there has been a significant increase in the number of urgent ‘without notice’ applications made to the Family Court in order that parties can access the legal advice they need.
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