Law Council lauds new appointments to Family Court

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The appointment of two new judges to the Family Court of Australia by Attorney-General Christian Porter was well-received by the Law Council of Australia.

In a statement, the Law Council said that it welcomed the appointment of Justice Jillian Williams and the Justice Louise Henderson, who have both been elevated to the Family Court from their former positions on the bench of Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

“One of the Family Court’s most distinct features is that only those, who by reason of training, experience and personality are suited to deal with family law cases, are appointed as its judges,” said Arthur Moses SC, president of the Law Council of Australia. Both Justice Williams and Justice Henderson worked as barristers specialising in family law before appointment to the judiciary. Their specialist expertise and first-hand experience as practising family lawyers will be an asset to the court and to the community. The Law Council has said long called for greater investment in the Family Court, including timely, specialist judicial appointments, to enable the court to discharge its responsibilities. We thank the attorney-general for listening to and acting on the concerns of the profession, the courts and the community.”

The Law Council also called on the government to ensure new judges are promptly appointed, in consultation with the community and the legal profession, to fill the positions vacated in the Federal Circuit Court.

“The Federal Circuit Court is already facing a crippling workload of family, migration and industrial relations matters. Delays in filling judicial vacancies directly contribute to delays in hearing cases and court backlogs,” said Moses.

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