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Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018

2016-2017-2018

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018

 

No.      , 2018

 

(Attorney-General)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act relating to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, and for other purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Chapter 1—Introduction                                                                                        2

Part 1—Introduction                                                                                                             2

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                               2

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 2

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Crown to be bound............................................................................. 3

4............ External Territories.............................................................................. 3

Division 2—Objects of this Act                                                                                4

5............ Objects of this Act.............................................................................. 4

Division 3—Simplified outline of this Act                                                            5

6............ Simplified outline of this Act.............................................................. 5

Part 2—Definitions                                                                                                                 7

7............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 7

Chapter 2—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia                 17

8............ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.................................. 17

9............ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1).............. 17

10.......... Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).............. 17

Chapter 3—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                19

Part 1—Constitution                                                                                                           19

Division 1—Constitution                                                                                            19

11.......... Appointment of Judges..................................................................... 19

12.......... Judges to be assigned to particular location....................................... 19

13.......... Authorised Judges may manage classes of proceedings................... 20

14.......... Style.................................................................................................. 20

15.......... Seniority............................................................................................ 21

16.......... Oath or affirmation of allegiance and office...................................... 21

Division 2—Terms and conditions of judges                                                   23

17.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 23

18.......... Resignation from office..................................................................... 23

19.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 23

Division 3—Judges of 2 or more courts                                                            24

20.......... Dual appointments............................................................................ 24

21.......... Judge also holding office of a prescribed court................................. 24

22.......... Judge also holding office of a State Family Court............................. 25

Division 4—Acting Chief Justice                                                                           26

23.......... Acting Chief Justice.......................................................................... 26

Part 2—Jurisdiction                                                                                                             27

Division 1—Original jurisdiction                                                                          27

24.......... Original jurisdiction.......................................................................... 27

Division 2—Appellate jurisdiction                                                                        28

25.......... Appeals from courts of summary jurisdiction in relation to family law or child support matters              28

Division 3—Associated matters                                                                             29

26.......... Jurisdiction in associated matters...................................................... 29

Division 4—Exercise of jurisdiction                                                                    30

27.......... Exercise of jurisdiction...................................................................... 30

28.......... Determination of matter completely and finally................................. 30

Division 5—Certain powers relating to matters of jurisdiction           31

29.......... Making of orders and issuing writs.................................................. 31

30.......... Contempt of court............................................................................. 31

Division 6—Administration                                                                                      32

31.......... Arrangement of business.................................................................. 32

32.......... Complaints........................................................................................ 33

33.......... Protection for the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice................. 34

Part 3—Transfer of proceedings                                                                                 36

34.......... Discretionary transfer of proceedings to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                36

35.......... Rules of Court................................................................................... 37

36.......... Delegation......................................................................................... 38

Part 4—Appeals                                                                                                                     39

37.......... Appeals to the High Court may not be brought................................. 39

Part 5—Practice and procedure                                                                                  40

Division 1—General                                                                                                     40

38.......... Practice and procedure...................................................................... 40

39.......... Representation................................................................................... 40

Division 2—Documents filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)             42

40.......... Filing of documents in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)           42

41.......... Seal of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) 42

42.......... Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) stamps.. 43

43.......... Writs etc............................................................................................ 43

44.......... Proceedings may be instituted by application.................................... 44

45.......... Limits on length of documents.......................................................... 44

Division 3—Conduct of proceedings                                                                   45

46.......... Place of sitting................................................................................... 45

47.......... Change of venue............................................................................... 45

47A....... Formal defects not to invalidate......................................................... 45

Division 4—Case management                                                                               46

48.......... Overarching purpose of family law practice and procedure provisions 46

49.......... Parties to act consistently with the overarching purpose................... 47

50.......... Power of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) to give directions about practice and procedure in a civil proceeding.......................................................................... 48

51.......... Chief Justice to achieve common approaches to case management with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)....................................................................................... 49

Division 5—Evidence                                                                                                   50

52.......... Oaths and affirmations...................................................................... 50

53.......... Swearing of affidavits etc.................................................................. 50

53A....... Orders and commissions for examination of witnesses.................... 52

Division 6—Judgments                                                                                               53

54.......... Reserved judgments etc..................................................................... 53

Division 7—Common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                                                                                                                       54

55.......... Chief Justice to achieve common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).......................................................................................................... 54

Division 8—Rules of Court                                                                                       55

56.......... Rules of Court................................................................................... 55

Part 6—Management and administration                                                             57

Division 1—Management responsibilities of the Chief Justice              57

57.......... Management of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                57

58.......... Arrangements with other courts........................................................ 58

59.......... Arrangements with agencies or organisations................................... 59

60.......... Arrangements for sharing courtrooms and other facilities................. 60

61.......... Advisory committees........................................................................ 60

Division 2—Chief Executive Officer                                                                   62

62.......... Chief Executive Officer..................................................................... 62

63.......... Powers of Chief Executive Officer................................................... 62

Division 3—Registries and registrars                                                                 63

64.......... Registries.......................................................................................... 63

65.......... Registrars and Deputy Registrars...................................................... 63

66.......... Powers exercisable by Chief Executive Officer, Registrars and Deputy Registrars 63

67.......... Delegation......................................................................................... 66

68.......... Independence of delegates................................................................. 68

69.......... Review of power exercised by delegate............................................ 68

70.......... Oath or affirmation of office............................................................. 69

Division 4—Other officers and staff                                                                    71

71.......... Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)             71

72.......... Marshal............................................................................................. 72

73.......... Delegation by Registry Managers..................................................... 73

Division 5—Miscellaneous administrative matters                                      74

74.......... Procedural information to be given to unrepresented parties............. 74

75.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 74

76.......... Delegation of administrative powers of Chief Justice....................... 74

77.......... Proceedings arising out of administration of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)          74

78.......... Protection of persons involved in handling etc. complaints............... 75

Chapter 4—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                76

Part 1—Constitution                                                                                                           76

Division 1—Constitution                                                                                            76

79.......... Appointment of Judges..................................................................... 76

80.......... Assignment of Judges to Divisions.................................................. 76

81.......... Authorised Judges may manage classes of proceedings................... 77

82.......... Style.................................................................................................. 77

83.......... Oath or affirmation of office............................................................. 78

Division 2—Terms and conditions of serving Judges                                 79

84.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 79

85.......... Leave................................................................................................. 79

86.......... Outside work.................................................................................... 79

87.......... Other terms and conditions............................................................... 80

88.......... Resignation from office..................................................................... 80

89.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 80

Division 3—Disability and death benefits                                                         81

90.......... Certification of retired disabled Judges............................................. 81

91.......... Pensions for retired disabled Judges................................................. 81

92.......... Superannuation for retired disabled Judges....................................... 82

93.......... Death benefits................................................................................... 83

94.......... Relationship definitions..................................................................... 85

95.......... Meaning of eligible child ................................................................... 87

96.......... Appropriation.................................................................................... 88

Division 4—Judges of 2 or more courts                                                            89

97.......... Dual appointments............................................................................ 89

Division 5—Acting Chief Judge                                                                             90

98.......... Acting Chief Judge........................................................................... 90

Part 2—Jurisdiction                                                                                                             92

Division 1—Original jurisdiction                                                                          92

99.......... Original jurisdiction—general........................................................... 92

100........ Original jurisdiction—family law or child support matters............... 92

101........ Original jurisdiction—Commonwealth tenancy disputes.................. 93

Division 2—Appellate jurisdiction                                                                        95

102........ Appeals from courts of summary jurisdiction in relation to family law or child support matters              95

Division 3—Associated matters                                                                             96

103........ Jurisdiction in associated matters...................................................... 96

Division 4—Exercise of jurisdiction                                                                    97

104........ General and Fair Work Divisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)      97

105........ Exercise of jurisdiction—open court or in Chambers........................ 98

106........ Exercise of jurisdiction...................................................................... 99

107........ Determination of matter completely and finally............................... 100

Division 5—Certain powers relating to matters of jurisdiction         101

108........ Making of orders and issue of writs............................................... 101

109........ Declarations of right........................................................................ 101

110........ Contempt of court........................................................................... 101

111........ Summary judgment......................................................................... 102

Division 6—Administration                                                                                    103

112........ Arrangement of business................................................................ 103

113........ Complaints...................................................................................... 104

114........ Exercise of powers of General and Fair Work Divisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)..................................................................................... 105

115........ Assignment of Judges to locations or registries.............................. 106

116........ Protection for the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge................. 106

Part 3—Transfer of proceedings                                                                               108

Division 1—Transfer of proceedings to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                                                                                                                     108

117........ Discretionary transfer of proceedings............................................. 108

118........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 109

119........ Delegation....................................................................................... 110

Division 2—Transfer of proceedings to the Federal Court                  111

120........ Discretionary transfer of proceedings............................................. 111

121........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 112

Part 4—Appeals                                                                                                                   113

122........ Appeals to the High Court may not be brought............................... 113

Part 5—Dispute resolution for proceedings other than proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                                                                                                                                     114

Division 1—General                                                                                                   114

123........ This Part does not apply to proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                 114

124........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to consider whether to advise people to use dispute resolution processes......................................................................................... 114

125........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to advise people to use dispute resolution processes   114

126........ Duty of legal practitioners to consider whether to advise people to use dispute resolution processes      115

127........ Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to advise people about dispute resolution processes......................................................................................... 115

128........ Conciliation..................................................................................... 116

129........ Referral of question of law—dispute resolution process (other than arbitration)      116

130........ Rules of Court about dispute resolution processes.......................... 117

131........ Regulations about dispute resolution processes.............................. 117

132........ Rules of Court about costs of dispute resolution processes............ 118

133........ Rules of Court about dispute resolution processes under the Family Law Act 1975                 118

134........ Consent orders................................................................................ 118

Division 2—Proceedings other than family law or child support proceedings   119

135........ Scope of Division........................................................................... 119

136........ Mediation........................................................................................ 119

137........ Arbitration....................................................................................... 120

138........ Power of arbitrator to refer question of law to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)       120

139........ Review of arbitration award on a question of law etc...................... 121

140........ Arbitration awards.......................................................................... 122

Part 6—Practice and procedure                                                                                123

Division 1—General                                                                                                   123

141........ Practice and procedure.................................................................... 123

142........ Representation................................................................................. 124

143........ Interrogatories and discovery.......................................................... 124

Division 2—Documents filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)             125

144........ Filing of documents in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)           125

145........ Seal of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) 125

146........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) stamps 126

147........ Writs etc.......................................................................................... 126

148........ Proceedings may be instituted by application.................................. 127

149........ Limits on length of documents........................................................ 127

Division 3—Conduct of proceedings                                                                 128

150........ Place of sitting................................................................................. 128

151........ Change of venue............................................................................. 128

152........ Determination of proceedings without a jury.................................. 128

153........ Decisions without oral hearing........................................................ 128

154........ Limits on the length of oral argument.............................................. 128

155........ Written submissions........................................................................ 129

156........ Formal defects not to invalidate....................................................... 129

Division 4—Case management                                                                             130

157........ Overarching purpose of civil practice and procedure provisions..... 130

158........ Parties to act consistently with the overarching purpose................. 131

159........ Power of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to give directions about practice and procedure in a civil proceeding........................................................................ 132

160........ Chief Judge to achieve common approaches to case management with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)..................................................................................... 133

Division 5—Evidence                                                                                                 134

161........ Oaths and affirmations.................................................................... 134

162........ Swearing of affidavits etc................................................................ 134

163........ Orders and commissions for examination of witnesses.................. 136

164........ Time limits on giving of testimony.................................................. 136

165........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) may question witnesses               136

166........ Evidence may be given orally or by affidavit.................................. 137

167........ Offences by witness........................................................................ 138

Division 6—Use of video links or audio links                                                140

168........ Testimony by video link or audio link............................................. 140

169........ Appearance of persons by video link or audio link......................... 141

170........ Making of submissions by video link or audio link........................ 141

171........ Conditions for use of video links and audio links........................... 142

172........ Putting documents to a person by video link or audio link.............. 144

173........ Administration of oaths and affirmations........................................ 144

174........ Expenses......................................................................................... 145

175........ New Zealand proceedings............................................................... 145

Division 7—Orders and judgments                                                                    146

176........ Orders............................................................................................. 146

177........ Reserved judgments etc................................................................... 146

178........ Interest up to judgment.................................................................... 146

179........ Interest on judgment........................................................................ 149

180........ Enforcement of judgment................................................................ 149

Division 8—Costs                                                                                                         150

181........ Costs............................................................................................... 150

182........ Security for costs............................................................................ 150

Division 9—Common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                                                                                                                     152

183........ Chief Judge to achieve common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)  152

Division 10—Rules of Court                                                                                  153

184........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 153

185........ Documents...................................................................................... 154

186........ Service............................................................................................ 154

187........ Evidence.......................................................................................... 155

188........ Orders and judgments..................................................................... 155

189........ Costs............................................................................................... 156

190........ General............................................................................................ 156

191........ Incidental matters............................................................................ 158

Part 7—Suppression and non-publication orders                                           159

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                         159

192........ Powers of Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) not affected 159

193........ Other laws not affected................................................................... 159

194........ This Part does not apply to proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                 159

Division 2—Suppression and non-publication orders                               160

195........ Safeguarding public interest in open justice.................................... 160

196........ Power to make orders..................................................................... 160

197........ Grounds for making an order.......................................................... 160

198........ Procedure for making an order........................................................ 161

199........ Interim orders.................................................................................. 162

200........ Duration of orders........................................................................... 162

201........ Exception for court officials............................................................ 163

202........ Contravention of order.................................................................... 163

Part 8—Vexatious proceedings                                                                                   164

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                         164

203........ Meaning of a person acting in concert ............................................ 164

204........ Powers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) not affected           164

Division 2—Vexatious proceedings orders                                                    165

205........ Making vexatious proceedings orders............................................. 165

206........ Notification of vexatious proceedings orders.................................. 166

Division 3—Particular consequences of vexatious proceedings orders 168

207........ Proceedings in contravention of vexatious proceedings order......... 168

208........ Application for leave to institute proceedings.................................. 169

209........ Dismissing application for leave..................................................... 169

210........ Granting application for leave......................................................... 170

Part 9—Management and administration                                                           171

Division 1—Management responsibilities of the Chief Judge and the Chief Executive Officer                171

211........ Management of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                171

212........ Arrangements with other courts...................................................... 172

213........ Arrangements with agencies or organisations................................. 173

214........ Arrangements for sharing courtrooms and other facilities............... 174

215........ Advisory committees...................................................................... 174

Division 2—Chief Executive Officer                                                                 176

216........ Chief Executive Officer................................................................... 176

217........ Powers of Chief Executive Officer................................................. 176

Division 3—Registries and registrars                                                               177

218........ Registries........................................................................................ 177

219........ Registrars........................................................................................ 177

220........ Powers exercisable by Chief Executive Officer and Registrars....... 177

221........ Delegation....................................................................................... 180

222........ Independence of delegates............................................................... 182

223........ Review of power exercised by delegate.......................................... 182

224........ Oath or affirmation of office........................................................... 183

Division 4—Other officers and staff                                                                  184

Subdivision A—Officers and staff                                                                      184

225........ Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)             184

226........ Sheriff............................................................................................. 184

227........ Deputy Sheriffs............................................................................... 185

228........ Marshal........................................................................................... 185

229........ Deputy Marshals............................................................................. 186

230........ Family consultants.......................................................................... 186

231........ Staff of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).. 186

Subdivision B—Provisions relating to officers and staff                             186

232........ Arrangements relating to Commonwealth staff............................... 186

233........ Delegation by Registry Managers................................................... 187

234........ Authorised persons to assist the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriffs........... 187

235........ Authorised persons to assist the Marshal or Deputy Marshals....... 187

236........ Actions by or against Sheriff or Marshal........................................ 187

237........ Making arrests under this Chapter or warrants............................... 188

238........ Receivers......................................................................................... 189

Division 5—Miscellaneous administrative matters                                    191

239........ Procedural information to be given to unrepresented parties........... 191

240........ Annual report.................................................................................. 191

241........ Delegation of the administrative powers of the Chief Judge........... 191

242........ Proceedings arising out of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)........................................................................................................ 192

243........ Protection of persons involved in handling etc. complaints............. 192

Chapter 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                 193

Part 1—Administration of family services                                                           193

244........ Chief Executive Officer has functions of family consultants........... 193

245........ Chief Executive Officer may delegate powers and functions that relate to family consultants  193

246........ Chief Executive Officer may give directions that relate to family services functions                193

247........ Chief Executive Officer may authorise officers or staff members to act as family counsellor or family dispute resolution practitioner...................................................................................... 194

Part 2—Miscellaneous                                                                                                      195

248........ References in other laws to a Judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia       195

249........ Regulations..................................................................................... 195

 



A Bill for an Act relating to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, and for other purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

   

   

8   Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

             (1)  The federal court known immediately before 1 January 2019 as the Family Court of Australia is continued in existence as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1).

             (2)  The federal court known immediately before 1 January 2019 as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia is continued in existence as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).

Note:          The Parliament may create federal courts under Chapter III of the Constitution.

9   Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)

             (1)  The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) is:

                     (a)  a superior court of record; and

                     (b)  a court of law and equity.

             (2)  The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) consists of the following:

                     (a)  a Chief Justice;

                     (b)  a Deputy Chief Justice;

                     (c)  such Senior Judges and other Judges as from time to time hold office in accordance with this Act.

10   Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)

             (1)  The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) is:

                     (a)  a court of record; and

                     (b)  a court of law and equity.

             (2)  The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) consists of the following:

                     (a)  a Chief Judge;

                     (b)  a Deputy Chief Judge;

                     (c)  such other Judges as from time to time hold office in accordance with this Act.

Chapter 3 Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)

Chapter 4 Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)

Chapter 5 Miscellaneous