Members of the Queensland Law Society Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee met recently with Judge Kevin Lapthorn, Judge Susan Purdon-Sully and Senior Judicial Registrar Anne-Marie Rice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to discuss the role of dispute resolution in proceedings in the court.
The meeting was hosted by QLS at Law Society House on Tuesday 23 August, with ADR Committee members attending in person and remotely.
The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for ADR Committee members to learn more about the impact of dispute resolution processes since the merging of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia on 1 September 2021.
Members were able to gain a greater insight into dispute resolution in the family law environment, including with respect to ancillary processes introduced to enhance efficiency and facilitate the early identification of risk factors which could act as obstacles to agreement.
Attendees also discussed emerging patterns following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and explored ways in which QLS members might aid the court in understanding the needs of parties and practitioners, in order to optimise the utility of family dispute resolution.
To this end, the Society will shortly distribute a survey to family law practitioners, whose responses will be of great assistance in informing the continuing evolution of dispute resolution in this sphere of practice.