A Comparative Analysis of Family Dispute Resolution
33 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019
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: Suggested Citation