Your Safety at Court
The Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia recognise that some people who use their services may have suffered or continue to suffer family violence. Arrangements can be made for your safety.
The Family Court's work is guided by the following principles:
Should you have a problem involving family violence, intimidation or feel threatened or fear for your safety please call the client services staff at the Registry where your case is to be heard in advance of your attendance at Court.
- Safety is a priority for all who attend the Court and who work on its premises.
- Family violence affects everyone. It can occur prior to, during and after separation and may impact on a client's capacity to effectively participate in Court events.
- Children are affected by family violence. When a child is witness to, or a direct target of, family violence, this will have a significant impact on their well being. (Check the definition of family violence)
- The Court is committed to ensuring that it continues to be responsive to the range of specific needs of diverse client groups.
- Partnerships between the Court and a wide range of organisations, agencies and community groups are essential for the success of the Family Violence Strategy.
If you are represented Mike and I take a great deal of care to ensure that you are looked after on the days in court.
Security on Court Premises
If you are afraid of your former partner or another person involved in your Court case, tell your lawyer or a member of the Court staff, if possible before you come to Court.
Arrangements can be made for you to be escorted in and out of the building. Arrangements can also be made for you to have separate sessions with a Court mediator or deputy registrar, or a telephone link-up can be arranged.
In some circumstances face-to-face Court mediation may not be required. Most commonly this is where there is a history of family violence and where there is an obvious power imbalance between the parties. If you consider that either of these applies to you please inform the Court staff.
Some of the Courts registries have 'safe' rooms which clients (and their lawyers if they have one) are able to use. Ask your Registry if such facilities are available and for details about how you can use these rooms. Goulburn Street in Sydney has excellent facilities as do many other courts.
You should not be worried about attending court because it is a safe and effective environment to ensure that children can get the best possible outcome.