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The SPCA suggested the following changes

Discuss the changes recommended by the SPCA in relation to restriction son publications. In esscence the NZ Model was considered to be the better model.

The SPCA sugested:

That the Bill be amended to include provisions to allow cases to be reported providing the anonymity of the parties is maintained on a similar basis to the New Zealand legislation where a wider range of persons are entitled to attend hearings and  that  restrictions on publication of reports of proceedings under the Act are relaxed, permitting wider publication of those reports while still protecting the privacy of the families involved. See appendix 4 and 5

That the Bill be amended to require publication of the reasons for a Judges decision where Shared Parental responsibility is NOT ordered. Publication either to the appropriate legal site or to the parties in the case or both.

That the Bill be amended to require publication of the reasons for a Judges decision where shared parental responsibility has been ordered but the apportionment of time is less than applied for under section 60DAA. Publication either to the appropriate legal site or to the parties in the case or both. See appendix 4 and 5 for examples of Legislation or Bills that contain wording to this effect.
APPENDIX 5

New Zealand Section 131 The Care of Children Bill Restrictions on publication of reports on proceedings.

This appendix is relevant to the current inquiry as it shows how concerns about the openness of the Family Court has been addressed in New Zealand by allowing the publication of a report of court proceedings in the public interest, so long as names of affected parties are kept confidential in respect of their private interest.

The Act will come into force on 1 July 2004.

The Care of Children Bill will replace the Guardianship Act 1968. The review of the Guardianship Act originated from proposals for shared parenting and concerns about the openness of the Family Court. In 2000, the government released a discussion document and called for public submissions. Nearly 400 submissions were received from a wide range of parties, including judges, parents, academics and community organisations.

The Bill modernises the framework for resolving care arrangements for children within families. Patterns of family life and attitudes towards children have changed significantly over the last 35 years. More modern legislation is needed to ensure a stronger focus on the rights of children and that all types of family arrangements are recognised.

The Bill will help parents, families and children by:

 -ensuring the legislation has a stronger focus on the rights and voice of the child;
- promoting co-operative parenting;
- removing discriminatory provisions that present barriers to families;
- recognising the diversity of family arrangements that exist for the care of children;
- providing meaningful court processes for guardianship proceedings.


Specifically

131 Restriction on publication of reports of proceedings

(1) No person may publish a report of proceedings under this Act (other than criminal proceedings) except–
      (a) with the leave of the Court that heard the proceedings; or
      (b) as provided in subsection (2).

(2) A person may publish a report of proceedings under this Act if the report does not include any name or particulars likely to lead to the identification of any of the following:
      (a) a child who is the subject of the proceedings:
      (b) the parties to the proceedings:
      © a person who is related to, or associated with, a party to the proceedings, or who is, or may be, in any other way concerned in the matter to which the proceedings relate:
      (d) a witness in the proceedings or a person the Court agrees to hear under section 128.

(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence against this Act and is liable on summary conviction,–
      (a) in the case of an individual, either to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or to a fine not exceeding $2,000
      (b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

(4) Nothing in this section limits
      (a) any other enactment relating to the prohibition or regulation of the publication of reports or particulars relating to judicial proceedings; or
      (b) the power of a court to punish any contempt of Court.

Compare: 1968 No 63 s 27A

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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