The website Convenor of www.nzfamilycourt.com a Consumer Advocacy website for Family Court Consumers, is reporting a “phenomenal growth” of readership and feedback from Family Court Consumers, as well as “whistle-blower” Lawyers, & Psychologists since the sites launch just 2 weeks ago.
Steve Taylor, a Counsellor, Social Service Outcomes Researcher, and Family Court Consumer Advocate launched the site in mid-June 2013, and has received some truly harrowing stories of the experiences of families and individuals.
“The sort of stories I am hearing, and that the website is publishing, are not the stories that were being heard at the recent Justice & Electoral Select Committee hearing submissions on the Family Court Reforms, a process that was pretty much dominated by self-interested stakeholders and interest groups such as Lawyers and the methodologically shaky Domestic Violence industry”.
“There is a “brutal and tribal chaos” operating within the service provider environment of the New Zealand Family Court, and Family Court Consumers desperately need some independent and meaningful avenue of complaint and redress for the harm being done to Family Court Consumers by these same service providers”.
“As the Convenor of the website, and as a Family Court Advocate, I have even had my own clients being threatened with Court proceedings if they continue to utilise me as an Advocate – it’s just an appalling environment of bullying, intimidation, and discrimination, by Family Court Lawyers, Lawyers For Children, and Psychologists, and this toxic mix is seemingly being endorsed by Family Court Judges, who themselves are often carrying a plethora of personal baggage in their own right”.
“If the Family Court is to have any hope of true reform, then three aspects of change need to be seriously considered: the absence of Lawyers from Mediation proceedings; the introduction of service outcome measurement by Family Court Consumers; and an Independent Family Court Complaints Authority, that sits apart form the industries and influence of the Family Court service providers”.