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Attorney-General ignores violence against men in the home

By excluding fathers from the people he wants to experience less domestic violence, the Attorney-General of Australia, Robert McLelland, appears to:

1) Show little regard or concern for the protection and welfare of men and fathers of Australia; and

2) Seek to privilege women ahead of men at law and in court.

Write a Letter

Write a letter to your local Federal member of parliament.  Their contact details can be found on under Who's Who

The Attorney General can be contacted by email: or by fax: 02 6273 4102.

Or if you live in his electorate of Barton, contact him at his local office to protest the fact that the government as expected is ignoring violence against men in the home and from their wives, girlfriends or other men who are encouraged by these women to commit an assault of their behalf.

His local office is at: Butler Road (access via Ormonde Pde), Hurstville NSW 2220

Telephone: 02 9585 9100 or Fax: 02 9585 9200

Family Court of Australia Media Release via CCH

CCH News > Family law
6 March 2009

Best practice on family violence in Family Court

This is a media release issued by the Family Court of Australia

The Family Court of Australia today launched the final piece of its suite of initiatives introduced to combat family violence.

The Attorney-General Robert McClelland formally introduced the Family Violence Best Practice Principles and commended them to the Family Court judiciary.

"The Australian Government recognises the critical importance of reducing violence directed towards women and children and is pleased to see the ongoing commitment of the Court to tackling this issue.

"I commend these Best Practice Principles to all members of the Family Court judiciary and am confident they will be of significant assistance to you in your decision making," the Attorney-General said.

The Best Practice Principles are the last part of the Family Violence Strategy to be implemented and are the result of extensive work by a committee within the Court.

Chief Justice Diana Bryant said that the principles had been developed to provide decision makers with practical guidance when dealing with matters where family violence, or the risk of it, had been alleged.

"Family violence, or the threat of it, has devastating effects not only on the victims of the abuse but also on those who witness it.

"Sadly, in the Family Court many of those who experience or witness family violence and abuse or fear its presence, are the most vulnerable citizens  children," she said.

The Best Practice Principles will be relevant to any dispute in which violence is alleged, even when forms usually filed to notify the court of concerns held about violence have been omitted.

While judges will still enjoy complete discretion, they will now also have the benefit of a checklist of matters that they may consider when deciding the next step in a case or making final orders.

"I cannot overstate how seriously Family Court judges take the issue of violence, actual or threatened.

"The legislation takes a similarly strong line where there are reasonable grounds to believe that:

- family violence or abuse has occurred or is threatened, compulsory participation in dispute resolution before filing is waived

- a parent has engaged in violence, the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility in the Act does not apply.

"I take this opportunity to thank the Attorney-General for introducing the Best Practice Principles to the judiciary this morning," Chief Justice Bryant said.

Email Attorney-General Media Release #1

From: "Adam Siddique" <>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 15:30:04 +1100
To: Media Releases

6 March 2009

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today welcomed the Family Court of Australia s new Family Violence Best Practice Principles .
The principles provide judicial officers with important guidance in dealing with family law matters which involve allegations of family violence or child abuse.
Mr McClelland, said these principles will assist the Court in ensuring that the welfare of children and victims of abuse are at the forefront of all decisions made.
The principles provide guidance on issues such as:

- Details to be included in a Family Court judgement or reasons;

- Matters to be considered when making interim and final parenting orders;

- Timeframes for Family Court processes; and

- Locally available support and services for victims of violence.

The Rudd Government recognises the critical importance of reducing violence directed towards women and children and is pleased to see the ongoing commitment of the Court to tackling this issue, Mr McClelland said.
The family law system has a critically important part to play in the prevention of family violence, particularly in respect to the welfare of children.  

Media Contact: Adam Siddique   0407 473 xxx

Email Attorney-General Media Release #2

From: "Adam Siddique" <>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 15:35:21 +1100
To: Media Releases





- Chief Justice Diana Bryant [introducing you]

- Members of the judiciary

- Distinguished and international guests

Good morning.

It is a great pleasure to be here today, and thank you, Chief Justice for inviting me to speak at your conference. I am also very pleased to be here today to launch the Court's new family violence best practice principles.

These principles provide a practical checklist of matters for judicial officers to consider when hearing and determining disputes involving allegations of violence. I hope they will assist the Court in ensure that the welfare of children and victims of abuse are at the forefront of all decisions made.

More than 2,000 years ago, Roman statesman, Cicero, produced in a few simple words an inspirational observation: the good of the people is the chief law.

It's an enlightened statement that should continue as a guide in the 21st century for those working in the law, and for those using it.

We must always stay focussed on the wellbeing of the people we serve and those affected by the law we administer. That is why the family violence best principles are so important.

I want to recognise the invaluable work of all of you here and your collective commitment to assisting families in crisis.

As Attorney-General, one of my principal responsibilities is to ensure that Australia s family justice system functions and is structured to produce the best possible outcomes for users of the system.

In that context, it is essential that the considerable public resources devoted to family dispute resolution are utilised in a way that maximises the benefits to the people affected by family breakdown.

By that I mean the system of family dispute resolution should be as fair, simple, affordable and accessible as possible, with its focus on the families that use it. Courts cannot afford to be distracted from that focus.

Review of Delivery by Federal Courts of Family Law Services

Everyone would agree that where possible people should be empowered to reach their own decisions about their future. It is common sense that where parties can resolve their own differences the outcome is more likely to be an enduring one.

It's my guiding principle in thinking about how family law services can be delivered and how they can achieve the best outcomes for those involved. We must ensure that all our efforts and public resources are deployed at an early stage to assist parties to resolve their own differences or if this is not possible narrow the issues in dispute.

I would make an additional four points here:

- processes for resolving disputes must make sense to litigants;

- they must be accessible and timely;

- they must be integrated with other family law services; and finally

- they must be capable of dealing with the full range of family law disputes which, because they delve into the labyrinth of human behaviours, can vary greatly in their complexity.

As Attorney-General these are my five imperatives, and so I initiated a review of the delivery of family law services by the federal courts.

The Report of the Review was released in November last year, along with a Consultation Paper seeking further public comment on the Report's recommendations.

The consultation period ended a month ago.

What the Review and consultation reveal is consensus among stakeholders that aspects of the federal family law court system are due for reform.

No change is not an option.

In particular, the Report noted that tensions between the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court had distracted them from their core responsibilities.  While I am aware that there is now a very good level of cooperation, the inbuilt structural issues remain.

The Review and consultation show broad support for the recommendations of the Report to create a single family court with two divisions. They also show support for developing more efficient and streamlined processes, and for delineating more clearly the responsibilities of the proposed two divisions.

I thank all of you who have contributed to the reform process it s important to draw upon a wide range of opinions and views.

I especially want to thank the Chief Justice for her perspective and support. I value her input and leadership enormously.

And to all those associated with the Court I thank you for your patience.

A review and consultation of this nature cannot proceed without causing uncertainty, and sometimes anxiety, for judicial officers and staff alike.

But I am confident that the Review and consultation process will enable the Government and Parliament to put in place a better platform for all family law judicial officers to perform their core work.

Once Government has made a decision, I want to assure you I will be moving as quickly as I can to ensure implementation of that decision.

Access to Justice

Reforming family law services delivery by the federal courts is consistent with my desire to improve access to justice across the entire civil justice system.

But improving access to justice is not merely limited to reform of court structures.

Nor can it just be measured in efficiencies or matters of dollars and cents.

The Government is committed to building a functional, overarching framework to increase access to justice. It is imperative that public resources are not only deployed efficiently but also fairly and proportionate to need and the issues in dispute.

In January of this year I established an Access to Justice Taskforce in my Department to examine what works, what doesn t, and why.

Most importantly, we want to ensure that the mechanisms and processes which ultimately prevail are the most optimal.

In adopting this approach, I am also determined to identify priorities for reform that will increase individuals capacity to understand the laws that affect them and to increase early dispute resolution.

Simplification of Court Rules

In the context of striving to guarantee the family law system is one of excellence, I also encourage the courts to explore ways of further simplifying court rules and processes to ensure just and fair outcomes for families.

I know that Chief Justice Bryant is committed to progress on this issue and I want to lend my support to that work.

The trauma of family breakdown and court proceedings should not be compounded by inflexible and overly formal procedures and rules.


Although I am interested in advancing new ideas in family dispute resolution that otherwise don t involve the courts, I am absolutely aware that courts will always be required to resolve those cases that have proved incapable of resolution by the parties themselves or any other dispute resolution mechanism.

The importance of a strong federal system of family law adjudication is unquestionable, and as a pillar of our democracy, it is vital to the long term well-being of the Australian community.

The Government is committed to ensuring that access to justice is maximised across Australia, and to ensure that the resources directed to family law adjudication are delivered as effectively as possible.

I have no doubt that this is one of the focuses of your conference as it is the Government's.

I said at the start that I want Australia's justice system to produce the best possible outcomes for users.

My hope is that the Review and consultation will lay the foundation for the Government to put in place a system which does just that where both administrative and judicial resources are effectively deployed.

There is a need for all of us to continually refocus our efforts, not for change sake, but to ensure we are finding new and better ways to improve the experience and outcome for families engaged in the family law system.

I hope also that all those who work in the system do so, confident that their efforts are greatly valued by the Government and the community.

Thank you.


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