Response to the Commonwealth Government’s Consultation Paper on Improving the Competency and Accountability of Family Report Writers – December 2021

Djirra supported to the need to improve the quality of family reports being prepared for the Family Court. Djirra noted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and ACCOs such as Djirra must be extensively consulted and funded to lead work on improvements that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Djirra also noted the concern that an excessive focus on credentials for report writers may not sufficiently address the substantial problems in the court process itself, including:

  • Difficulty in practice with challenging report findings;
  • Excessive reliance on the report, in comparison to other evidence and submissions; and
  • Poor understanding of, or insufficient weight given to abuse and family violence by some members of the judiciary.