22 May 2008

Canberra’s newest court room, specially designed to accommodate the Less Adversarial Trial (LAT) process used in children’s/parenting matters, will be officially opened this afternoon by the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, John Faulks.

The Family Court introduced LAT in 2007 to minimise the adversarial nature of Family Court proceedings, especially those concerning children.

“I am delighted to open the Family Court of Australia’s newest Less Adversarial Trial court room which will help to reduce the potential for confrontation between the parties.

“It reflects the commitment of the Family Court to determine disputes, particularly those about children, in the most direct but inclusive way.

“Judges will be assisted by all the best of modern technology including integrated video and teleconferencing that enables remote access for lawyers and litigants.

“The Canberra building was the first purpose built Family Court after the introduction of the Family Law Act in 1975 and it is appropriate that the latest purpose built courtroom in that building reflects changes appropriate to the development of Family Law and community attitudes and expectations.

 “I am very pleased that this significant improvement to the court infrastructure in the ACT has occurred while I am on the Bench. 

“I am convinced it will make a difference to the most important people in this process – the children,” he said.