Judicial Mediation in Family Law
In the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Practice Direction No 1 of 2019 takes effect from 1 January 2019 and introduces another element to Family Law cases before that court – Judicial Mediation.
According to the Practice Direction judicial mediation will be a step that may be taken after private mediation options have been exhausted and before a final hearing or trial. The court will apply criteria to cases to see which are then deemed suitable for judicial mediation.
The preparation for a judicial mediation is fairly stringent and is very similar in the extent of material to be prepared and exchanged to a final hearing.
As might be expected the judge that conducts the judicial mediation will not later on be the judge that presides over a trial if the case hasn’t settled.
Changes are coming in Family Law
Meanwhile the Family Law system is under a good deal of scrutiny and change seems to be key for 2019.
The Australian Law Review Commission is completing its full review of the Family Law System which is due to report by the end of March 2019. This combined with the Federal Government’s intentions of structural reform to the Court system means that the introduction of Judicial Mediation may be only one of many changes to come.
Access the Practice Direction – Judicial Mediation
You can access a copy of the Practice Direction by clicking here.
Do you have any queries?
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For more information on this topic please contact Margaret Miller, Partner and Family Lawyer. This article has been prepared by Bell Legal Group for general information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.