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Children need a real choice and a real voice!

Children's rights crushed by High Court decision

Real and lasting damage is done to many children involved in Family Law and child protection systems and this will increase since the High Court decision on 7 August 2012.

This decision effectively reinforced the Family Law and other jurisdictions position that children can't be allowed to speak for themselves.

So if you can speak or write - and if you disagree with this decision - now's the time to speak! Tell your local pollie, tell the media, tell your friends and rellies!

Most people would have heard about the Queensland 4 - sisters who apparently felt they had not had a fair hearing in the Family Law process. They found media outlets brave enough to carry their story. Other media outlets tried to damp down any possibility that the kids might have a point.

J4C knows there are thousands of other kids who want to tell their story but can't because nobody in the system is listening to them.

The number one issue for Justice for Children Australia is that children are not given a real voice and a real choice in the current adversarial system.

Queensland Solicitor-General brought up this issue in the High Court case. Not to prove that the adversarial system was the wrong forum for assessing children's future but to confirm that kids don't have a voice in it.

You may have read about recent research showing that 86% of Australian Family Law judges surveyed had not met a child for the purpose of hearing their views whereas a large % of similar judges overseas actually met and talked to kids.

The second important issue goes with that first one - all assessments of child?s welfare, wellbeing, safety and happiness must be done over a period of time in different situations ? real life ? eg at home with mother, with father, at school etc etc by a TEAM of people who are not only experts but attuned to children?s lives and development - NOT in one or two session's in a psych?s office.

Children must not be removed from the primary carer they have always lived with and love and want to be with and who has done them no harm. This separation is CHILD ABUSE.

The Child Support Agency brief must be totally revamped so that Child Support is no longer a motive for trying to reduce or increase parents time with children.

Complaints of abuse must be investigated thoroughly - in the right jurisdiction.

Many things are happening which may affect children caught up in Family Law and child protection. I don't claim to be on top of much at all - your contributions and comments are most welcome.

In June 2012 - the changes to Family Law come into effect. Among these was the consideration of children's human rights as set out in UNCoRC. What effect will the High Court's ruling have on this (even supposing that any judicial officer is considering the kid's rights anyway!)

Click here FLAWFV for more info and links.