It has been estimated that approximately 70 per cent of family law disputes are resolved without involving the federal court system. Therefore, the family law jurisdiction is far larger than the disputes that go to court. Part of the much broader family law community includes State and Territory bodies such as legal aid services, community support services, family violence services, and State and Territory Police and Courts; mediators and arbitrators; and counsellors and psychologists. While acknowledging that the federal courts are only one component of a much larger family law system, the committee is required to inquire into the bills before it, which are limited in their scope to the proposed restructure of the federal courts.
This report consists of three chapters:
The first chapter provides a brief overview of the bills as well as the administrative details of the inquiry.
Chapter 2 outlines the need to reform the federal courts and sets out past reviews which have informed the bills' formation.
Chapter 3 discusses the key issues raised in evidence to the inquiry, and provides the committee's views and recommendations.