As the various recent family law inquiries, reports and recommendations wrap up, the Government has announced its first action step in its response. Judicial staff training in family violence is first cab off the rank, with the Government announcing plans to engage international experts to assist with the training for judges, registrars and other court staff.
The Courts have engaged the Safe & Together Institute from the USA to deliver court-wide training based on the Safe & Together Model™ developed by leading expert, Mr David Mandel. Introducing the scheme, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Justice Alstergren said the judicial staff training in family violence, to start this year, focuses on issues such as the protection of children in the context of family violence, identification of protective parenting, coercive controlling behaviours and the impact of family violence on children.
Mr Mandel said the Model is a ground-breaking and globally recognised approach to improving outcomes for adult and child survivors of domestic violence. Its use has been endorsed by many of Australia’s leading family and domestic violence experts and the approach underpins a suite of research projects funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).
Chief Justice Alstergren linked this judicial staff training in family violence training to other family law court initiatives under the Courts’ Family Violence Best Practice Principles and the Family Violence Plan.
It’s also linked to one of the recommendations in the recent parliamentary family law inquiry report (which we discussed here), which was for judges and other judicial court staff to undergo regular professional training. The Committee recommended to the Government that family violence be one of the areas of urgent training, not just for court staff, but for all family law professionals.
Mr Mandel commented, on our family court system: “With this training, Australia’s family law courts are well-placed as a global leaders in the reform of family court domestic violence practices. We’re proud to be part of this effort and are hopeful that families using the Courts will reap the benefits of them becoming more domestic violence-informed.”
Source: Government press release reprinted at Mirage News.
Do you need assistance with a family law matter? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please get in touch with Alliance Family Law.