The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia today released the Family Violence Plan (the Plan). The Plan demonstrates the Courts’ ongoing commitment to addressing issues of family violence by providing a comprehensive set of actions that will support people who are experiencing, or at risk of, family violence.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren, acknowledges the important work undertaken by the Family Violence Committee in bringing this Plan to fruition and to those who have contributed to the Plan’s development.
“The Courts recognise the close connection between family breakdown and violence, and the detrimental impact on adults and children who live with family violence.
“Protecting family members, and particularly children, from the effects of family violence is fundamental to the decisions made in the best interests of the children and ensuring the safety of people involved in family law litigation is a significant priority.
“The Courts take family violence very seriously and realise that we must continually strive to do better. This Plan identifies clear goals, actions to be taken and timelines in relation to protection from family violence; safety at court; and information and communication,” Chief Justice Alstergren said.
This Plan has refined and updated the Family Violence Plan 2014–16. It builds on the important work undertaken by the Courts under the 2014–16 Plan and will be used by administrative staff, decision-makers, legal practitioners, service providers and others involved in the overall family law system.
The Plan covers areas as diverse as building layout, security screening, risk assessment, safety planning for individual litigants, and education and training of staff. It also covers the review and updating of the Family Violence Best Practice Principles, a document designed to assist judges, legal practitioners and litigants understand the legal requirements for all matters in which family violence is alleged.