Updated: 07/09/2014 01:09

New Family Justice Act

New Family Justice Act

A Family Justice Act was introduced in Parliament today. 

The Act aims to strengthen court infrastructure and enhance court management processes to better support families. 

Under it, a new Family Justice Court will be established to hear all family-related cases. 

It'll comprise the Family Division of the High Court, the Family Court and the Youth Court, which is the renamed Juvenile Court. 

The Family Court will hear all family proceedings, except for cases under the Children and Young Persons Act. 

These will go to the Youth Court. 

Where necessary, the Youth Court may direct the parties to undergo mediation, counselling or participate in family support programmes. 

The Family Division of the High Court will mainly hear appeals against the decisions of the Family Court and Youth Court. 

In any proceedings involving the custody or welfare of a child, the court may appoint a registered doctor, psychologist, counsellor, social worker or mental health professional to assess the child,
to prepare expert evidence for use in court. 

A Family Justice Rules Committee will also be established to make rules regarding the procedure and practice of the new court. 

The Committee will comprise the Chief Justice, judges of the Supreme Court and the Presiding Judge and the Registrar of the Family Justice Court.

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