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Temporary judges to blitz court backlog

By February 22, 2017No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

It’s not news that our family court system struggles under the weight of a huge number of cases of increasing complexity, which have seen families wait years for resolution of their family law matter.  Practitioners and users have been vocal over the past few years in attempting to direct federal attention towards the court backlog.

In NSW, the backlog of cases has snowballed after years of under-resourcing, exacerbated due to the Federal Government’s excruciatingly slow efforts in replacing vacated judicial positons. While the seven judicial positions in Sydney are now filled, the existing backlog is such that the Family Court has been obliged to recruit extra judges to tackle the many outstanding matters. Judges have been quoted as stating that even sitting 8 to 10 hours a day in the courts would not be enough for them to make inroads into the large backlog.

The temporary judges to be drafted in will include four from Sydney, one from ACT and one from Tasmania, taking the total number of sitting judges to 11. It is planned that they will sit for two weeks on a rolling list of trials beginning later this month.

Via a spokesperson, the courts said:

“The Family Court of Australia has been under pressure for a number of years due to previous delays in judicial replacements and reduced resources at a time when demand for its services and the complexity of issues it deals with has increased.”

“The court is aware of the impact on families that lengthy delays can cause and this initiative attempts to minimise hardship on families who come to the Court to have their family law dispute resolved in a timely fashion.”

Fifty custody hearings are close to finalisation in the Sydney and Parramatta registries of the Family Court and these will be given priority during the blitz. Lawyers in these cases have been alerted to the impending arrangements so that they can prepare their cases.

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Do you need assistance with a family law matter? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our  other solicitors here at Alliance on (02) 6223 2400.

(Please note: Our blogs are not legal advice. For details about how to obtain correct legal advice please arrange a free conference with Alliance Family Law.)


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