Newsroom: Lawyers failing children in the Family Court system: survey

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A survey from a women and children’s rights advocacy group highlights major problems with those appointed to represent children in the Family Court system. Teuila Fuatai reports. 


Lawyers appointed to represent children entangled in Family Court disputes are under fire from a women and children’s rights advocacy group for lying and failing to tell the court what children want.

A survey undertaken by the Backbone Collective, which asked more than 400 mothers about their experience in the Family Court, highlighted significant information blockages between children and the court. To hone in on the role of the ‘lawyer for child’ – the barrister mandated with communicating the child’s views and best interests to the court – Backbone also asked the women to report on their children’s experience.

“We were shocked to learn that for so many children, the lawyer for child service is failing to respond well and safely to their experiences of violence and abuse,” Backbone co-founder Ruthe Herbert said.

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