What Do Australian Family Law Judges Think About Meeting with Children?
Fernando, Michelle (2012) 'What Do Australian Family Law Judges Think About Meeting with Children?', Australian Journal of Family Law, vol 26, pp. 51-92
27 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2015
Date Written: 2012
This article describes the author’s survey of Australian family law judges which aimed to discover the incidence of judicial meetings with children in Australia and judges’ views about the practice. Conducted in 2010, the study confirmed that few Australian judges have ever met with children in parenting disputes and that most are reluctant to do so. This is in contrast to other comparable jurisdictions where judicial meetings with children occur frequently and are encouraged. The results also showed that many Australian judges agree that meeting with children may yield useful evidence of children’s views and may enable a greater understanding of individual children’s needs and best interests. The majority of judges were, however, concerned that they lack the expertise to speak with children and interpret their views, and that judicial meetings may encourage parents to manipulate or pressure their children.
Keywords: Family Law, childrens rights, judicial meetings, judges
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