Semple review: will the FMC be split?

Semple review: will the FMC be split?

The Australian reported two days ago that the Semple review into the operation of the Family and Federal Magistrates Courts is considering three options: splitting the Federal Magistrates Court into arms of the Federal and Family Courts respectively, changing the standing of the Federal Magistrates Court, or the creation of a Federal Courts Authority.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has commissioned former Attorney-General’s Department guru to undertake a review of the operation of the Family Court, the Family Court of Western Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court.

I am only a little fish in a big pond. From this Brisbane family lawyer’s point of view, the current administrative arrangement between the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court is crazy. Federal Magistrates have far too much work to do. There seems to be duplication between those courts in some of the administrative positions.

But to create a Federal Courts Authority? Madness. This is an authority that would be beholden to no court and to no one but the Attorney-General. Each court should have the resources that it needs. The media has taken great pleasure in repeating the gossip about lack of teabags in Adelaide. Do we want to repeat those fights with more bureaucracy?

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Forced Marriage

On November 1st 2023, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page presented a paper at the Brisbane Zonta Club about forced marriage. I acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, on whose lands we meet today, their elders, past, present and emerging. Ruqia Hidari was aged 21 and living in Victoria, when, according to police,… Read More »Forced Marriage

ACT Government Surrogacy Bill

The ACT Government has today introduced a bill to amend the ACT’s surrogacy laws. The proposed changes are more incremental than fundamental. They include allowing a single person to undertake surrogacy, for the surrogate to be single if needed, a requirement for legal advice and counselling beforehand, a written agreement being required, that traditional surrogacy is… Read More »ACT Government Surrogacy Bill

Planning to resolve: ADR in ART

ADR can help resolve disputes in ART cases. ADR is not limited to mediation and arbitration. Other types of informal dispute resolution can resolve disputes. When assisted reproductive treatment cases go off the rails, they can have the next level of bitterness and volatility. There can be a keen sense of betrayal when things don’t… Read More »Planning to resolve: ADR in ART

Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board