ISSN: 1035–9060 (print version)
ISSN: 2203–1863 (online version)
© Commonwealth of Australia 2014
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If you would like to comment on this annual report, or have any queries, please contact:
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court
GPO Box 9991
CANBERRA ACT 2601
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This annual report is available electronically at:
The online version contains links to the 2013–14 Attorney-General's Portfolio Budget Statements.
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Letter of Transmittal
04 September 2014
Senator the Honourable George Brandis QC
Canberra ACT 2600
I am pleased to present the Annual Report of the operations of the Family Court of Australia for the financial year ending 30 June 2014.
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.
The report has been prepared in accordance with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's Requirements for Annual Reports 2013-14.
This is the Family Court of Australia’s 25th Annual Report.
[Signed in the hard copy]
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 2013–14 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.
PART 1: The year in review—the Chief Justice's overview highlighting significant issues and initiatives the Court has undertaken during the reporting year.
PART 2: Overview of the Court—information about the Court, including its role, functions, powers, governance, organisational structure, initiatives, planning and international cooperation.
PART 3: Report on performance—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 2013–14 Portfolio Budget Statements and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2013–14 for the Attorney-General's portfolio.
PART 4: Appeals—information about the Appeal Division, trends in appeals and appeals to the High Court.
PART 5: Significant and noteworthy judgments—summaries of some of the important Full Court decisions made during 2013–14.
PART 6: Management and accountability—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 2014—the audited financial statements for 2013–14.
PART 8: Appendices—the resource statement, resources for outcomes, staffing profile, work health and safety, advertising and market research, ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance, grant programs, 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/fcoaweb/reports-and-publications/annual-reports/
Acronyms and Abbreviations
AAT Administrative Appeals Tribunal
AFCC Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
AGD Australian Government Attorney-General's Department
AGIMO Australian Government Information Management Office
AHS After Hours Service
AM Member of the Order of Australia
ANAO Australian National Audit Office
AO Officer of the Order of Australia
APS Australian Public Service
ASL Average Staffing Level
ASPIRE Appreciating Strong Performance and Innovation by Recognising Employees
ATSI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
AUSTLII Australasian Legal Information Institute
AWA Australian Workplace Agreement
BSDO Business Systems Development Officer
CCP Commonwealth Courts Portal
CDS Child Dispute Services
CEI Chief Executive Instruction
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CJ Chief Justice
CLC Commonwealth Law Courts
CMAG Chief Executive Officer's Management Advisory Group
CPSU Commonwealth and Public Sector Union
CSD Corporate Services Division
CSO Client Service Officer
CSSMG Client Services Senior Managers Group
DCJ Deputy Chief Justice
DHS Department of Human Services
DVD digital video disc
ECN Environmental Champions Network
ECONET Ethics Contact Officer Network
EL Executive Level of the Australian Public Service
EMS environmental management system
ESD ecologically sustainable development
FAIM Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management
FC Family Consultant
FCC Federal Circuit Court of Australia
FLC Family Law Court
FLIS Family Law Information Service
FMA Act Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997
FOI freedom of information
FRAL Family Relationship Advice Line
FRC Family Relationship Centre
GAEN Government Agency Environmental Network
GST goods and services tax
HR Human Resources
HSMAs (Work) Health and safety management arrangements
ICT information and communications technology
IP Internet Protocol
IPS information publication scheme
IT information technology
IVR interactive voice recognition
KPI Key Performance Indictor
MA The Supreme Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Agung)
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
NEC National Enquiry Centre
NSO National Support Office
PAC Chief Justice's Policy Advisory Committee
PBS Portfolio Budget Statements
PMDS Performance Management and Development System
PSM Public Service Medal
SDC Staff Development Committee
SES Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service
SOE standard operating environment
VOC volatile organic compounds
WCAG Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
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, and the Federal Circuit 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.
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 of Australia are the Family Law Rules 2004 and the rules of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia are the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001.