In today’s Australian Newspaper, Chief Justice, Diana Bryant, made a further plea to the Federal Government for more funding to the Family Court. The lack of resources to meet the demand of cases coming before the Court each day has now gone beyond a joke.
One only has to walk into the Brisbane Registry of the Family Court each day to see how hard it is for Judges of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court to have to deal with 30 to 40 matters in their list each day.
Many of the more difficult matters involve complex children’s issues, including abuse allegations, violence, alienation allegations and other allegations and counter allegations that require a proper and detailed Hearing. If a Judge has 30 to 40 matters before them each day, then there is simply no opportunity for children involved in that dispute to be given a proper Hearing.
As the Chief Justice rightly pointed out, even after an inadequate and short Interim Hearing, there is a substantial delay of somewhere in the vicinity of two to three years before the matter can even go to Trial.
It is about time that the Federal Government stopped paying lip service to the serious funding shortages – it is not about the lawyers, nor the Judges. There is always enough work to keep us all busy. It is about settling disputes between parents and their children as quickly and as fairly as possible – only by doing that can separating parents move on with their lives and provide their children with a better environment.