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AIS97

Access Issues

NZ $33.00
incl GST
Author(s): Tim Druce, Ida Malosi, Judge Jill Moss
Published: 21 July, 1997
Pages: 78

 

Introduction


Section 16B of the Guardianship Act was enacted as a direct result of the recommendations of Sir Ronald Davison, former Chief Justice who enquired into the Family Court proceedings involving the Bristol family. That was precipitated by the father's killing of the three children of the family and his own suicide. The literature reviewed by the Commissioner included research findings in North America and the United Kingdom that a wife batterer is more likely than a non-wife batterer to physically assault children.

In his speech on the introduction to Parliament of the Bill to reform the Domestic Violence Bill and the Guardianship Amendment Bill, the Minister for Justice said this:

 
The tragedy of domestic violence cannot be overstated. More and more people are coming to realise that not only does it hurt those who are battered and bruised, but that all society pays the price in some form or other. In the not too distance past we tended to be rather complacent about the issue, considering it not to be a significant problem in what we consider to be a civilised society.

We express shock at the old English common law rule that allowed a husband to beat his wife with a stick "no thicker than his thumb". Yet it is evidence from the statistics that the kind of attitudes sanctioned that law still exist in society today. For some people scenes like those in "Once Were Warriors" are not just something seen at the movies - that is their reality.

Strong measures are needed both to send a message that this behaviour is unacceptable in New Zealand in the 1990s and to provide a greater protection when domestic violence occurs. There are two key parts to this reform. The first part replaces the Domestic Protection Act of 1982 with new legislation with a revamped regime in which victims of domestic violence can obtain a range of orders. The second part contains amendments to the Guardianship Act of 1968 that are directed at ensuring that the court deals with allegations of violence made in custody and access proceedings so that any orders it makes will not compromise the safety of the children concerned.
 

Content outline

  • Guardianship Act Section 16B Reform
  • The "ideal model" for section 16B cases
  • Initiating litigation
  • Evidence - nuts and bolts issues
  • Violence found
  • Rights, needs, and wishes of the child
  • Implementing safe access
  • Costs
  • Evolution
View contents page

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