The Need for a Family Law systems Royal Commission
Our most vulnerable young Australians are being sent to live with, or ordered contact with, sex offenders and abusive parents, leaving a trail of shattered protective parents. A thorough investigation into the Family Law Systems of Australia – inclusive of the Family Court, report writers, children’s lawyers, supervisors, experts, together with the state systems of police and child protection – is urgently required. A Royal Commission is the only legal entity capable of negotiating and overcoming the significant constitutional, legal (Section 121 and other privacy instruments), international (UNCROC) and statutory (state-based) hurdles necessary to properly and thoroughly investigate the failings of the current Family Law Systems.
In 2013, Bravehearts formally requested that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse expand its terms of reference and look into the systemic failures of the Australian Family Law Systems to adequately and appropriately deal with allegations of sexual assault.
Unfortunately, the Royal Commission was unable to broaden its remit to include the Family Law Systems. As a result, Bravehearts began an independent examination of Australia’s Family Law Systems. This was the beginning of what was to become Abbey’s Project; named after a young girl who tragically took her own life after being betrayed by the system that was meant to protect her.
Bravehearts’ examination of Australia’s Family Law Systems brought harrowing stories of systemic failings into the light. In June 2016, Bravehearts published the experiences that were uncovered in a discussion paper entitled Abbey’s Project. Bravehearts continues to fight for a Royal Commission into the Family Law Systems and we are imploring all Australians to help us in our fight to change a system that is failing to protect our kids.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT THIS CALL?
Add your voice to our petition NOW!
If you have not already done so, you can support Bravehearts’ call for a Royal Commission into the Family Law System by signing our online petition. So far, over 90,000 Australians have put their name to the petition. Add your voice NOW!
Write a letter or email The Prime Minister, as well as your Federal Member to voice your concern.
Below is an example letter that you may use.
Dear Prime Minister, The Hon. Malcom Turnbull, MP,
I support Bravehearts call to bring about a Royal Commission into the Family Law System of Australia and to address the State and Federal child protection issues around the dysfunctionality that presides over it and its long-term devastating effects.
Australia urgently needs a Royal Commission into our broken Family Law System. This includes; the Judicial system including Judges, court staff, family court consultants/report writers/experts (employed or appointed by the court), internal and external legal representatives including children’s lawyers, legal aid, private practitioners, Auscript, all related State Government institutions including Police, Child Protection Services, Health & Education and all Non-Government organisations such as Family Relationship Services, Counselling services and supervision services.
Only a properly constituted Federal Royal Commission is capable of navigating Section 121 of the Family Law Act and thoroughly investigating the jurisdictional and constitutional issues between the State and Federal stakeholders, examining the complex legal frameworks, separation of powers issues, and the application of the international conventions.
Only a Royal Commission will help fix the ongoing failures of the current system to adequately protect children in the future.
We cannot continue to tinker at the edges of a broken system. There are far too many poor outcomes due to a combination of failures which ultimately culminate at the exit door of the family courts.
Too often children are not being heard and their testimonies disregarded or disbelieved.
It is illogical and intolerable to allow such a system to continue in its present form.
Prime Minister, only you can make this right. We implore you to do what is right and gravely needed, by initiating a Federal Royal Commission.
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