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August 11, 2022

Family Court dedicated COVID-19 list

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With increased reports of family violence and other issues caused by the pressure put on communities during the pandemic, it was announced yesterday that the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia are establishing a special court list. This list is dedicated to deal exclusively with urgent parenting-related disputes including those involving issues of family violence arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 List is designed to quickly identify and deal with the cases that need urgent attention due to the COVID-19 crisis. It will also support the work already being conducted by the judiciary.

Increased reports of domestic violence

Although most families are trying their best to be reasonable and flexible during these unusual times, for some families this has not been possible. There have also been increased reports of domestic violence. This has resulted in a significant rise in the number of urgent applications filed in the courts over a four-week period in March and April.

Applications that are eligible to be dealt with through the COVID-19 List, especially those involving issues of risk and family violence, will receive immediate attention and will be triaged by a dedicated Registrar who will assess the needs of the case and allocate it to be heard by a judge within 72 hours of being assessed.

During these unprecedented times, court staff and judges have worked to ensure that the courts can still operate during the pandemic, making changes to registry services and implementing online mediation and virtual hearings amongst other measures.

The newly announced COVID-19 List, to commence on 29 April 2020, is another example of how the judiciary are responding to the needs of the community during these extraordinary times

The COVID-19 List is a very welcome initiative.

Innovative measures by the family law courts such as this will be of great assistance to families during the current crisis but it is essential that the chronic underfunding of the family law system by successive governments over many years be addressed to ensure that the courts are properly equipped for the recovery phase.

 


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.

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COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.

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COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.

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It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.

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COVID-19 update: May 9

Today there are 41 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with none of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: May 6

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) reports that there are 37 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: Monday 2 May

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday, 1 May, 274 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the area, including 56 positive PCR tests and 218 positive rapid antigen tests

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