The Shoalhaven and District Law Society has welcomed plans to merge the Family Law Court and Federal Circuit Court.
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Announced on Wednesday, the merge plans to cut waiting times and a backlog of trials.
Currently, Shoalhaven residents in Family Court face “excessive delays” when seeking a resolution to family disputes.
Shoalhaven and District Law Society president Lauren Howe said she welcomed any changes that could make the the court process more efficient, but said the family law system also required more resources to cope with the increased complexity of matters.
“Any measures that could make the court process more efficient and reduce the backlog of cases are welcome,” Ms Howes said.
"[However] additional resources should be a priority ahead of the commencement of the amalgamation on January 1, 2019.”
Ms Howe said the Shoalhaven and District Law Society and The Law Society of NSW would review the legislation implementing the reforms and further details about the time frame for amalgamating the two sets of court rules.
The Law Society of NSW will also continue to engage with the Australia Law Reform Commission’s review of the family law system.
"This is an opportunity to focus on alternative reforms to further improve the operation of the system," Ms Howes said.
Almost 1200 cases are transferred between Family Law Court and Federal Circuit court each year, some after having been in court for more than 11 months.
Under the merger, judges from the Family Court will hear family law matters, while Federal Circuit Court judges will hear family and general matters.
Over time, all judges will hear both family and general cases.
Legislation to implement the changes will be introduced later this year.
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