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Well worth reading and covers many of the complaints we have raised over the years. All interviews with children or adults need to be video taped to ensure the reports written accurately describe the words and views of the interviewees. The videos clearly need to be made available to both parties. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social worker and any other ‘expert witnesses’ need to be identified and the reports easily accessible to all interested parties.
Go to https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-14/family-court-report-writer-takes-mum-to-wine-bar/11171556
to read the full article.
In the family law system psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers can give evidence and impact cases, but a review has found no-one is keeping them in check.
Updated 14 Jun 2019, 9:09am
Published 14 Jun 2019, 5:05am
A Victorian psychologist who violated a woman’s privacy by giving her ex-husband her confidential assessment and doing therapy in a wine bar is among the powerful Family Court experts who are shielded from the fallout of misconduct complaints.
In another case, a teenage boy was granted a protection order against his father after a Family Court judge — who relied on a report by the same psychologist — gave the father access.
Meanwhile, a state medical watchdog revealed it has no legal power to investigate a Sydney psychiatrist accused of serial failures in his role with the court, even at a judge’s request.
Both of these experts regularly provide reports in family law proceedings.
The cases highlight what court insiders and legal experts say is the lack of proper scrutiny of private psychoanalysts — described by some parents as “Gods of the court” — because their opinion can affect family legal battles and custody rulings.
A long-awaited report into the Family Court by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) urged the Federal Government to tackle concerns about the quality of these court-appointed experts by introducing mandatory accreditation and lifting the veil of secrecy around them.