The Commission’s Protection Applications in the Children’s Court: Final Report was tabled in state Parliament today.
The Attorney-General asked the Commission to review Children’s Court procedures in child protection cases following a 2009 report by the Ombudsman expressing concern about the level of disputation in these cases and suggesting a more collaborative approach.
The report contains five options for reform. The options draw upon innovative aspects of the Victorian legal system—like the growing emphasis upon appropriate dispute resolution (ADR)—and important developments in child protection procedures elsewhere, such as family group conferences in New Zealand. Some of the five reform options involve procedural changes within the existing legal framework, while others propose structural change.