Queensland Border Restrictions and Important Updates from the Courts
Queensland Border Restrictions and Important Updates from the Courts: COVID-19 - 4 April 2020
Queensland Border Restrictions
The Queensland Chief Health Officer has made a new version of the Border Restrictions Direction and the following are now a permitted purpose for crossing the border:
Example of a vulnerable group or person – a person over 70 years or a person with a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19
- for children under 18 years who do not live in the same household as their biological parents or siblings or one of their parents or siblings, continuing existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children and siblings, but not allowing access or contact with vulnerable groups or persons;
- to provide assistance, care or support to an immediate family member
- to attend any court or tribunal of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the court or tribunal of Australia
Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Update to CDS interview protocol.
As with all areas of the Court, Child Dispute Services (CDS) are endeavouring to find ways of conducting its work that ensures that assessments retain their value for litigants and the Court, while also minimising the risks to families and staff in the context of COVID-19.
Interviews with adults are now being conducted by telephone or video. For assessments that have a child inclusive element, Family Consultants will consider whether this can also be done remotely. Where a remote interview is not possible or appropriate, and the assessment of children is considered to be critical and urgent, an in-person child interview and observation will still be conducted if the family is in a position to attend the registry. When this occurs the CDS In-person Interview Protocol available HERE will be followed.
Family Court of Western Australia
Public Gatherings and Regional Travel Restrictions
The WA Government has now introduced further restrictions on certain gatherings to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The prohibition on public gatherings of more than two (2) persons does not apply to courts (including Courtrooms and hearing rooms), as Courts are essential services, and a gathering at a Court is not a prohibited gathering under the Prohibited Gathering Directions dated 31 March 2020, available to view HERE. Nevertheless, the gathering of persons at the Family Court is being kept to the minimum necessary to allow the essential services to be provided. All persons attending the court must also remain vigilant in relation to required social distancing and hygiene practices.
The WA Government has also introduced further restrictions on travel within Western Australia details available HERE. A person will not be in breach of these restrictions if they are fulfilling their obligations under a parenting plan, parenting order of a court or other parenting arrangement. You should seek independent legal advice if you have any further queries (see HERE for assistance). You may be required to provide a copy of the relevant Court Order as evidence of necessary movement between regions. Please visit the Family Court of WA website HERE to see how you can obtain a copy of a Family Court order.
Family Law Section Executive
|Paul Doolan (Chair), NSW
Barkus Doolan Family Lawyers
Michael Kearney SC (Deputy Chair), NSW
New South Wales Bar
Di Simpson (Treasurer), ACT
Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson
Wendy Kayler-Thomson (Immediate Past Chair), VIC
Forte Family Lawyers
Sydney Williams QC, QLD
Greg Howe, SA
Howe Jenkin Family Lawyers
|Jaquie Palavra, NT
Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission
Anne-Marie Rice, QLD
Rice Mediations and Dispute Resolution
Marcus Turnbull, TAS
Ogilvie Jennings Lawyers
Minal Vohra SC, VIC
Jason Walker, VIC
Nicola Watts, WA
|Family Law Section
Law Council of Australia
GPO Box 1989
Canberra ACT 2601
ABN 85 005 260 622
|Phone 1300 357 522
|This notice is provided for the information of FLS members and does not constitute legal advice.
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