Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2023
The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee in response to its inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2023 (Cth) (the Bill).
The Law Council has consistently supported, in principle, the improved and uniform approach to information sharing between State and Territory policing, firearms and child protection bodies and the family law courts. To this extent, the Law Council strongly supports the intent of the Bill to improve the process for information sharing between jurisdictions and enhance the capacity of the family law courts to properly assess the risk of family violence, abuse and neglect, and make decisions which prioritise safety.
While the Law Council broadly supports the framework proposed in the Bill, it notes that without concurrent access to the draft regulations that the Bill refers to, it is difficult to comprehensively assess the efficacy of the Bill and ascertain the potential for any unintended consequences. It makes several recommendations to improve the clarity of the Bill, to promote procedural fairness for parties, and to ensure the courts and agencies are sufficiently equipped and educated to participate in this new information sharing framework.