A Comparative Analysis of Family Dispute Resolution

33 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019

See all articles by Fletcher Boswell

Fletcher Boswell

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: September 1, 2017


This essay examines the New Zealand and Australian family justice systems, with an emphasis on family dispute resolution services. It evaluates the existing problems with both systems and the differences between the services offered in the respective countries. It uses the contrast in the systems as a platform to suggest reform to the New Zealand model. The reforms suggested are centered on three aspects of family dispute resolution: consultation, incentivising participation and statutory guidance. This essay argues that more mechanisms ought to be put in place to ensure children are consulted in the mediation process. Further, providers of mediation should take further steps in the screening and mediation process to detect domestic violence. It advocates for a pecuniary and non- pecuniary incentives focused on increasing applications to family dispute resolution providers. Finally, it suggests that the reforms and important requirements outlined in the ‘Operating Guidelines’ are incorporated into the Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013. These reforms are focused on making family dispute resolution in New Zealand a viable and accessible alternative to direct Family Court applications.

Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, law reform, Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013, Family Court

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Boswell, Fletcher, A Comparative Analysis of Family Dispute Resolution (September 1, 2017). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3414683

Fletcher Boswell (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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