Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia

9 October 2014

The Family Court of Australia’s IT strategy has long been focused on implementing a range of electronic services that make access to the Court easier, cheaper and more efficient. The overarching goal for the Family Court is the establishment of an electronic court file to replace the current paper-based processes.

Details of the Court’s IT innovations were outlined today at the 16th National Family Law Conference in Sydney. During her opening address yesterday, the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, the Hon. Diana Bryant AO announced the Court is fully committed to moving to an Electronic Court File and will replace the current paper-based processes as soon as practicable.

“I am pleased to announce that from today all Family Court supplementary documents, including amended applications can now be filed electronically (eFiled).

The first move towards eFiling and the development of eForms was the establishment of the online divorce application form which went live in 2009. Since then, we have introduced eFiling for initiating applications and responses and we are currently working on the latest eForm, the application for consent orders, which will be available from the Commonwealth Courts Portal (CCP) from 1 November 2014.

The CCP, at www.comcourts.gov.au, is a gateway to the electronic court file and is the platform from where legal practitioners and litigants will eventually conduct all of the business-side of managing a case, including all filing transactions, managing hearing dates, and even communicating – eventually doing away with sending letters via traditional mail,” Chief Justice Bryant said.

Developed by the Family Court, the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court, the CCP currently provides an accessible and easy way for lawyers and people who are representing themselves in court proceedings to submit and pay for applications and to view important information such as future court dates, court orders and outcomes.

Richard Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Court of Australia said that the CCP has been a very successful initiative for the federal courts and there are now over 150,000 registered users.

“The Family Court through its IT strategy has implemented many initiatives aimed at streamlining the court process, making it easier for litigants. As well as co-developing the CCP, the Court has introduced widespread use of video-conferencing for cases involving parties in different locations. Using IPVC infrastructure, the Court has 61 IPVC units available nationally.

Although working within a limited budget, the Court has been able to achieve significant results in the area of IT and we are pleased that such changes not only benefit the Court, but more importantly, allow greater access for those who need to use the services of the Family Court,” Mr Foster said.

 

Media contact: Denise Healy, Media and Public Affairs Manager
telephone: 03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695
email: denise.healy@familycourt.gov.au