Ice Epidemic Straining the Family Court System
THE ice epidemic in rural Australia is contributing to the growing strain on the nation’s family court system, which is short of judges and has been juggling dwindling resources.
The Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit Court, John Pascoe, said on Friday that the wait for appointment of new judges to the court was one reason for a backlog in cases.
Demands on the court’s time were also increasing, particularly as a result of the ice epidemic, and the court was reportedly operating on about $60 million less than it did seven years ago.
“I think the family law system is certainly under a great deal of pressure. Part of that pressure stems from the ice epidemic in rural Australia, which complicates the work of the court enormously,” Chief Justice Pascoe told ABC Radio.
“When people are on ice there tends to be more violence, much less rational behaviour and it can be more difficult to find a family member to take care of the children.”
Chief Justice Pascoe also said the court was getting more evidence of family violence across the system, particularly cases of “psychological violence” and males controlling women “by controlling the money they spend”.
While he said there was a range of reasons for the backlog in cases, the court was in discussions with the government about replacing outgoing judges.
“Unfortunately it’s almost an overwhelming problem, because the more resources we get, in some ways, the more problems we get to deal with. It really is a complex situation,” he said.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has said the Federal Court will soon get more judges, and legislation has also been introduced to parliament, but not yet been passed, to merge the corporate functions of three federal courts.
Do you have family member suffering from Ice addiction?
Sometimes it is necessary to obtain evidence in family law matters to either support or refute a claim of excessive alcohol use or misuse, or to determine the chronic use of legal and/or illegal drugs.
People who use ice have a tendency to become violent, irrational and to place their children at risk.
Alliance Legal Services are experienced in dealing with matters involving ice in family law.
If you feel your spouse or partner has been abusing ice and you are worried about you and/or your children’s well-being, please do not hesitate in giving one of our experienced solicitors a call on (02) 6223 2400