Letter of Transmittal
5 September 2013
Canberra ACT 2600
I am pleased to present the Annual Report on the operations of the Family Court of Australia for the financial year ending 30 June 2013.
The report is submitted in accordance with section 38S subsections (1) and (3) of the Family Law Act 1975. The Act requires the Family Court to prepare and furnish you with a report of the management of the administrative affairs of the Court during the preceding 12 months.
This report has been prepared in accordance with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Requirements for Annual Reports 2013.
This is the Family Court of Australia’s 24th Annual Report.
Diana Bryant AO
The purpose of this report is to inform the Attorney-General, the Parliament, court clients and the general public about the performance of the Family Court of Australia in the 2012–13 reporting year. Prepared according to parliamentary reporting requirements, the report outlines the goals stated in the Court’s Portfolio Budget Statements and relates them to the results achieved during the year.
It provides information on the Court’s performance in relation to its stated outcome:
As Australia’s specialist superior family court, determine cases with complex law and facts, and provide national coverage as the appellate court in family law matters.
PART 1: The year in review—comprises the Chief Justice’s overview highlighting significant issues and initiatives the Court has undertaken during the reporting year.
PART 2: Overview of the Court—provides information about the Court, including its role, functions, powers, governance, organisational structure, initiatives, planning and international cooperation.
PART 3: Report on performance—reports on how the Court performed during the period against the above outcome and related program. The performance reports are based on the outcome and program framework and performance information in the 2012–13 Portfolio Budget Statements and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012–13 for the Attorney-General’s portfolio.
PART 4: Appeals—includes information about the Appeal Division, trends in appeals and appeals to the High Court.
PART 5: Significant and noteworthy judgments—contains summaries of some of the important Full Court decisions made during 2012–13.
PART 6: Management and accountability—provides information on corporate governance, external scrutiny, human resource management, financial management, purchasing, consultants and contract management, legal services, assets management and other activities relevant to the general administration of the Court.
PART 7: Financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2013—contains the audited financial statements for 2012–13.
PART 8: Appendices—includes the resource statement, resources for outcomes, staffing profile, work health and safety, advertising and market research, ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance, grant programs, information about committees, external involvement, judicial activities, international visitors and contact details.
PART 9: Index and list of requirements.
The following should assist readers to locate information in the annual report and to understand court-specific language:
- Acronyms, abbreviations and a glossary of court-specific terminology
- List of requirements
- Alphabetical index
An electronic version of this annual report is available from the Family Court of Australia’s website (www.familycourt.gov.au) at this link: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FCOA/home/about/publications/annual/
Acronyms and abbreviations
|AASB||Australian Accounting Standards Board|
|ABGR||Australian Building Greenhouse Rating|
|AGD||Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department|
|AGIMO||Australian Government Information Management Office|
|AM||Member of the Order of Australia|
|ANAO||Australian National Audit Office|
|AO||Officer of the Order of Australia|
|APS||Australian Public Service|
|ATSI||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander|
|AWA||Australian Workplace Agreement|
|CSD||Corporate Services Division|
|CEI||Chief Executive Instruction|
|CEO||Chief Executive Officer|
|CPSU||Commonwealth and Public Sector Union|
|CLC||Commonwealth Law Courts|
|CMAG||Chief Executive Officer’s Management Advisory Group|
|CSSMG||Client Services Senior Managers Group|
|DCJ||Deputy Chief Justice|
|DVD||digital video disc|
|ECN||Environmental Champions Network|
|EL||Executive Level of the Australian Public Service|
|FAIM||Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management|
|FCC||Federal Circuit Court of Australia|
|FLC||Family Law Courts|
|FLIS||Family Law Information Service|
|FMA Act||Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997|
|FOI||freedom of information|
|GST||goods and services tax|
|HSMAs||(Work) Health and safety management arrangements|
|ICT||information and communications technology|
|IPS||information publication scheme|
|IVR||interactive voice recognition|
|MA||The Supreme Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Agung)|
|MOU||Memorandum of Understanding|
|NEC||National Enquiry Centre|
|PMDS||Performance Management and Development System|
|PSM||Public Service Medal|
|RFD||Reserve Force Decoration|
|SES||Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service|
|SDC||Staff Development Committee|
|WHS||work health and safety|
|WHSC||Work Health and Safety Committee|
|YEAG||Young Employees Advisory Group|
Glossary of court-specific terms
Casetrack—Casetrack is the case management system used by the Family Court, including the Appeal Division, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly the Federal Magistrates Court) and the Federal Court of Australia.
Child dispute services—the family consultant services of the Family Law Courts. Family consultants are court experts who specialise in child and family issues after separation and divorce. They provide the courts and families with expert advice regarding children’s best interests; help parties resolve their dispute where possible; write and produce family reports; and advise the courts and families about the services provided to families and children by government, community and other agencies.
The Court—means the Family Court of Australia.
The courts—means the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly the Federal Magistrates Court).
Family consultant—a psychologist and/or social worker who specialises in child and family issues that may occur after separation and divorce.
Family Law Courts—comprise the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
Family law registry—a public area at a Family Law Court where people can obtain information about the courts and their processes and where parties file documents in relation to their case.
Interim proceedings—proceedings for orders pending a final determination of the issues in dispute.
Interlocutory proceedings—proceedings taken during the course of, and incidental to, a trial.
Magellan—cases that come to the Family Court that involve allegations of sexual abuse and/or serious physical abuse of a child go into the Court’s Magellan program.
Registrar—a court lawyer who has been delegated power to perform certain tasks; for example, grant divorces, sign consent orders and decide the next step in a case.
Registry—how the courts’ offices are known. For example, the Melbourne registry is in the Commonwealth Law Courts building on William Street.
Reserved judgments delivery time—the time between the hearing and the delivery of the judgment concerned.
Rules—a set of directions that outlines court procedures and guidelines. The rules of the Family Court are the Family Law Rules 2004 and the rules of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia are the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001.