Submission on access to justice challenges in diaspora communities

25/08/2020

The Association has made a submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee’s inquiry into issues facing diaspora communities in Australia. The submission, prepared with the Association’s Family Law Committee, examined access to justice challenges for diaspora communities and considered three issues:

a. barriers to diaspora communities in engaging with Australia’s justice institutions;

b. the need to fund specialist, culturally competent legal assistance and Legal Aid; and

c. the importance of properly funded specialist services, including a stand-alone Family Court, in dealing appropriately with family violence.

The submission recommended that:

a. This Committee advocate to the Parliament to properly fund and resource Legal Aid and specialist, culturally safe legal assistance and other services for CALD communities in 2020-21 and over the forward estimates;

b. This Committee advocate to the Parliament to properly fund and resource the federal courts and family law system in 2020-21 and commit to doing so on an ongoing basis over the forward estimates;

c. This Committee advocate to Parliament to consistently and adequately resource domestic violence support services in 2020-21 and over the forward estimates;

d. A specialist, stand-alone and properly resourced Family Court be maintained in Australia to continue to provide specialist assistance to children, families and survivors of family violence;

e. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 (Cth) and accompanying transitional amendments bill should not be passed by the Parliament; and

f. This Committee advocate to the Parliament to adopt the Association’s Family Court 2.0 Model and relocate judicial officers hearing family law matters and the family law jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court into a second division within the Family Court.

The submission is available here.


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