Self-rep DV accused can no longer cross examine the alleged victim

Even more provisions to prevent the truth being told. Those accused of domestic violence will not have an opportunity to directly cross-examine the accuser. If the accused cannot afford a lawyer presumably it will mean Legal Aid will have to fund their defence. We will watch carefully to see if this happens as Legal Aid is usually extremely reluctant to provide funding for the accused. The quality of the representation may also be called into question.

  1. If direct cross-examination is permitted, it is to be undertaken by legal representatives only including by legal aid being provided in accordance with the usual rules and standards to enable a party to have legal representation.

The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Cross examination of Parties) Bill 2018 was given assent on 10 December 2018. It represents a commitment by the government to continue to implement the recommendations of the Council of Australian Governments, including that perpetrators of family violence should not be permitted to directly cross examine their victims. The amendments address community concerns that a perpetrator’s ability to directly cross-examine their victims may constitute a continuation or extension of family violence.

The amendments provide mandatory protections for parties in certain cases. Personal cross-examination is now prohibited where:

  1. Either party has been convicted of or is charged with an offence involving violence or a threat of violence, to the other party.
  2. Where a final family violence order applies to both parties.
  3. Where the court has already made a personal protection order against a party pursuant of section 68B or 114 of the Family Law Act 1975.
  4. If none of the above apply, at the discretion of the court where an allegation of family violence has been made by a party to proceedings.

The court is required to ensure that appropriate protections are in place for the party who is the alleged victim of the family violence, including:

  1. If direct cross-examination is permitted, it is to be undertaken by legal representatives only including by legal aid being provided in accordance with the usual rules and standards to enable a party to have legal representation.
  2. By allowing a victim to give evidence via video link from a safe room.

The amendments are designed to strengthen the Court’s ability to protect victims of family violence and to illicit more reliable evidence to assist in the Court’s ability to make decisions in the best interests of children.

While the amendments were given assent on 10 December 2018, the new procedures come into effect in 6 months, from 10 June 2019.

Posted in Domestic Violence, False Allegations, Family Law, Hot Topics | Leave a comment

America Has A Boy Crisis – and the rest of the world too!

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America Has A Boy Crisis

The Boy Crisis, by Drs. Warren Farrell and John Gray (BenBella, March, 2018), is not your typical self-help book. The five chapters by Dr. Gray (of Mars/Venus fame) are a well-written, in depth analysis of the four faces of ADHD, its many causes, and both natural solutions and supplements for enhanced brain performance.

The 27 chapters written by Dr. Farrell are eloquently written. Yet they are also rife with fascinating, little-known information that is documented with about a thousand footnotes. Farrell empowers parents with identifying the symptoms of the boy crisis, pinpointing its underlying causes, and offering practical, everyday solutions for families, schools and policy-makers.

For example, did you know that roughhousing contributes to children developing empathy? When I thought about it, this made total sense. It was I at age eight, four years senior to my sister, who thought it was a great idea to launch her from my feet simulating a catapult. Surely this act of roughhousing would have won accolades from my parents if I hadn’t broken her little arm. Dr. Farrell explains the ensuing empathy from a big-brother-Salcedo.

Farrell also explains how dads typically use roughhousing to help children develop “emotional intelligence under fire,” and how that in turn perfects their children’s ability to be assertive without being aggressive.

No sooner did I experience a few of those “Eureka” moments than I realized that Dr. Farrell had merely laid the foundation on which he built a whole new paradigm. In the case of roughhousing, it’s not too hard to see that the father-child excitement creates a father-child bond. But then Farrell helps us see dad’s tendency to use that bond as leverage to enforce boundaries. From there he explains why enforced boundaries are a prerequisite to postponed gratification, and then how postponed gratification is one of best predictors of success.

And that’s just one of about seven differences between dad-style and mom-style parenting. Dr. Farrell says parenting magazines don’t address the specifics of a dad’s contributions. The result? Dads don’t know what they do naturally that leads to children with dads benefitting as much as they do. Thus dads can’t say what dads don’t know, and, as Farrell puts it, “moms can’t hear what dads don’t say.” But Farrell does not advocate for dad-style parenting in isolation. He calls for moms and dads to learn “checks-and-balance parenting” in order for children to achieve optimal success.

Posted in Child Abuse, Hot Topics, Men's Issues, Shared Parenting, Social Commentary | Leave a comment