Page created 28 July 2000
DRAFT CLIENT LETTER
This letter can be sent by services to clients to alert them to the Pathway's inquiry.
Download and print this letter.
RE: RESPONDING TO A GOVERNMENT INQUIRY INTO FAMILY LAW
You recently sought assistance from our service for issues concerning family law.
We thought you might be interested in knowing that the federal government has set up an inquiry into family law in Australia, called the "Family Law Pathways Advisory Group". This group is looking at ways to improve the family law system, including the Court, Legal Aid and mediation services. It has asked for public input.
We think it is important that the group hears from women and we thought you might want to participate.
There is absolutely no obligation to respond to the inquiry. If you do not feel comfortable about participating, please do not feel compelled by this letter to do so.
However, if you are interested in responding the types of issues that the group might want to hear from you about include such things as-:
· Legal Aid Did you have difficulty in obtaining legal aid for your matter?
· Solicitor Did your solicitor ask you about domestic violence? Did they raise the domestic violence issues with the court or Legal Aid?
· Counselling - Did you use a Counselling Service? How did you find the service? Was it Family Court counselling or another counselling service?
· Mediation/ Legal Aid conferences Were you able to raise issues of domestic violence? Did you obtain an agreement that was satisfactory and safe?
· Family Reports/ Child Representatives How long was your interview with the report writer? Were issues of domestic violence about your children adequately addressed?
· Family Court Did the decision that was made adequately address issues of domestic violence or safety concerns about your children?
If you are interested in participating, then a simple handwritten letter setting out your story would be sufficient, there is no formal format that your response has to follow. You are able to request that your response be kept confidential. You might also want to include any ideas/suggestions you have about improving the family law system for other women. Was there anything that worked well?
The due date to respond by is 25th August 2000. The address to send your response to is:
Family Law Pathways Group
Robert Garran Offices
BARTON ACT 2600
If you have any queries about matters raised in the letter, please do not hesitate to contact [staff member] on [telephone number]. If you were comfortable, our law reform worker, Angela Lynch would also appreciate receiving a copy of your response as it would assist Womens Legal Services submission, if we were aware of the issues women have raised. A copy can be sent to (Womens Legal Service, PO Box 119, Annerley QLD 4103).
Womens Legal Service
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