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September 20, 2021

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

A new COVID-19 case flies into the Far North Coast

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.

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New cases of COVID-19 below 1,000 for the first time in...

In what is now a general press conference, the Premier spoke to media at 11am this morning about the pandemic and other business.

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COVID-19 updated venue of concern excludes Lismore’s Workers

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) have updated their list of venues of concern for the Lismore LGA.

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Union wants mandatory vaccination across the board

Representatives of NSW prison officers say they are demanding mandatory vaccinations be adopted across the NSW justice system, with the union saying inmates who refuse the jab should face the same public health restrictions unvaccinated members of the public do.

3

COVID-19 updated venues of concern in Lismore and Goonellabah

Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of venues of concern in Lismore and Goonellabah, associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the region.

2

Second confirmed COVID case in Lismore

Acting Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District, Lynne Weir says there one new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a resident of the Northern NSW Local Health District.

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Police arrest 32 in protests across the state

Police say they have prevented the mass gathering of people in various locations across NSW, arresting 32 people and issuing 265 Penalty Infringement Notices in a coordinated and mobile response to planned protest activity.

9

COVID update – sewage detection in East and South Lismore and...

Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people in the Lismore City and Byron Bay areas to get tested for COVID-19, after fragments of the virus were detected in samples from the East Lismore, South Lismore and Byron Bay sewage treatment plants.

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