Fitzgerald reaffirms support for family law court reform

Irish Legal News  – December 6th 2016

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgeraldreaffirmed her support for reform of family law court processes at a seminar hosted by Barnardos this morning.

Ms Fitzgerald told a domestic abuse seminar hosted by the children’s charity that the Family Court Bill and the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Bill would help tackle violence.

She said her Government is “committed to significant reform of the courts, including the establishment of a family law court structure that is streamlined, more efficient, and less costly”.

She added: “I am working to bring a General Scheme of a Family Court Bill next year and my officials are currently working on a detailed plan as to how a new integrated family court system would look in practice.

“The Family Court Bill will aim to streamline family law court processes, clarify jurisdictional issues and provide for a set of guiding principles to help ensure that the Family Court will operate in a user-friendly and efficient manner. The intention is to establish a dedicated Family Court within the existing court structures.”

The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Bill, currently before the Oireachtas, creates a range of new offences relating to child abuse.

Ms Fitzgerald told the seminar: “Everything I have seen, experienced and encountered in my career to date convinces me that this Bill is essential to protect victims of the most depraved crimes.”

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