Institutions across the world have digitally adapted to accommodate the need for spatial restrictions and reduce contamination risk for Court users.
Have there been teething problems? Sure, but the Courts are now functioning with great efficiency and effectiveness. This has taken a lot of cooperation and goodwill from the legal profession keen to ensure their clients’ interests continue to be served by the legal system.
Hearings are now carried out using a variety of platforms allowing appearances by video conference or telephone. Some of these initiatives may well mean the Court will be able to hear a larger number of cases once we move out of the pandemic stage.
“Digital Court Files” has been established so that judicial officers are not required to be present in the Court room. Parties can give evidence and be cross-examined potentially in their own lounge room making that experience less stressful. Interviews with family consultants are now being conducted remotely via video and telephone. In some matters, face to face interviews are still required and are conducted using spatial distancing. The Family Court has directed that notwithstanding the current circumstances, parenting orders should be followed as much as possible, always being aware of the issue of risk to children.
If you are considering not complying with a Court order because you think the Court will not have the capacity to determine any possible breach of an order or varying of an order, think again. There may of course be real reasons why an order is not currently working, and if so, you should contact a specialist family lawyer for advice.
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