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History- Terminology 1974separate representative 1995 child’s representative 2006 independent children’s lawyer.

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Presentation on theme: "History- Terminology 1974separate representative 1995 child’s representative 2006 independent children’s lawyer."— Presentation transcript:



3 History- Terminology 1974separate representative 1995 child’s representative 2006 independent children’s lawyer

4 History- 1978 Family Court Lead evidence Cross examine Make submissions Ensure child’s wishes are put Be involved in negotiations

5 History- 1980 Chief Justice To ensure that all matters and witnesses relevant to the child’s welfare are before the court and to assist the court reaching a decision that is in the child’s best interests

6 History- NLA requirements 5 years practice Specialist in family law Attendance at National Training Course Specific ongoing ICL training

7 History- NLA Guidelines and-papers/

8 History-section 68LA FLA Form an independent view Act in the child’s best interests Make submissions Act impartially Ensure child’s views are put Analyse any report Minimise trauma to the child facilitate an agreed resolution

9 History- UNCROC The right to express views freely The right to be heard in proceedings

10 Research Report on ICLs’ Survey (Family Law Courts- November 2012) ICLs Study (AIFS- May 2013) Talking with Young Children and Young People about Participation in Family Court proceedings (ACT Children and Young People Commissioner- August 2013)

11 The Three Dimensions Facilitating the participation of the child in the proceedings Evidence gathering Litigation management

12 Effective practice proactive not pre-judging outcome consulting with children/young people to extent directed by best interests of individual child in particular circumstances of their case applying independent analysis to expert reports

13 Concerns Adequacy of accreditation, training and professional development arrangements Dealing directly with children Matters involving family violence and child abuse

14 Concerns Current funding arrangements place constraints on level of service ICLs can provide – private practitioners view much of work as pro bono Performance of some ICLs falls short of required standard, primarily in terms of acting independently, impartially and with professional rigour

15 Stakeholders and expectations Judicial officers Parents Children Non-ICL lawyers Non-legal professionals LACs

16 Stakeholders and expectations Child focus rather than parental focus in proceedings Evidence gathering, including of children’s views Negotiating agreements in children’s best interests Forensic issues about family violence and child abuse

17 Stakeholders and expectations Risk assessment Direct contact with children Direct contact with parents Support participation of children

18 Stakeholders and expectations Provide information about role of ICL and family law system Shielding children from parental conflict Protecting children from systems abuse Identification and briefing of appropriate experts

19 Responses Review of fee scales and allowances within limited budgets and increasing demand National ICL stakeholder meetings Jurisdiction stakeholder forums Review of mechanisms for selection of ICLs

20 Responses Requirements for ongoing CPD/CLE Ongoing training opportunities for ICLs Jurisdictional Inaugural National ICL training day Development of ICL checklist of essential elements of ICL engagement and case management – based on National Guidelines for ICLs 2013

21 Responses Review of correspondence and materials for parents and children National brochures National logo


23 Responses Development of national ICL website Resources Training activities Participation in review of information sharing protocols between the family law courts and child protection authorities

24 Improved practice Consistency of appointment requirements for ICL panels Facilitating appropriate participation of children Ongoing training

25 Improved practice System wide acknowledgement of responsibility for ICL quality Better identifying what children and parents can expect from an ICL

26 What NLA wants to achieve Competent ICLs contributing to better outcomes for children in complex family law proceedings

27 Questions

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