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Research to ASK FAMILIES and CHILDREN ABOUT INDEPENDENT CHILDREN’s LAWYERS

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on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 12:13

MEDIA RELEASE

25 May 2012

Research to ASK FAMILIES and CHILDREN
ABOUT INDEPENDENT CHILDREN’s LAWYERS

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon today announced a new research project into whether Independent Children’s Lawyers are effective when representing children in family law cases. 

The Attorney explained the project will provide a better understanding of how Independent Children’s Lawyers can best help achieve positive results for children.

“Independent Children’s Lawyers are an important part of Australia’s family law system,” Ms Roxon said.

“However, there has been a longstanding call for more research into children’s experiences of being represented in family law proceedings.

“An important part of this research will be to ask families and children about their experiences with Independent Children’s Lawyers.

“Independent Children’s Lawyers do a great job in difficult circumstances. But it is important to ensure that this important resource is used effectively.”

The research is being funded following a substantial increase in the number of cases where orders for Independent Children’s Lawyers have been made.

The research will also consider the views of other key stakeholders, including the family courts and State and Territory Legal Aid Commissions.

The research will be conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which in 2009 also conducted an evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms. The Government is investing $500,000 into the research project, we expected it to be completed in early 2013.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on             02 6277 7300       or             0409 945 476      

 

Facts about Independent Children’s Lawyers:

·         Under the Family Law Act 1975, an Independent Children’s Lawyer is appointed in some family law matters to assist courts in resolving disputes involving children. 

·         The appointments are managed and funded by legal aid commissions. 

·         Independent Children’s Lawyers are specially trained legal professionals.  They ensure agreements are in a child’s best interests, and that that a child’s views are put to the court. 

·         Independent Children’s Lawyers are one way the Government meets Australia’s commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child