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Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019

2019

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019

 

No.      , 2019

 

(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                 18

8............ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.................................. 18

9............ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1).............. 18

10.......... Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).............. 18

Chapter 3—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                20

Part 1—Constitution                                                                                                           20

Division 1—Constitution                                                                                            20

11.......... Appointment of Judges..................................................................... 20

12.......... Judges to be assigned to particular location....................................... 20

13.......... Authorised Judges may manage classes of proceedings................... 21

14.......... Style.................................................................................................. 21

15.......... Seniority............................................................................................ 22

16.......... Oath or affirmation of allegiance and office...................................... 22

17.......... Constitution of a Full Court.............................................................. 23

Division 2—Terms and conditions of judges                                                   25

18.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 25

19.......... Resignation from office..................................................................... 25

20.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 25

Division 3—Judges of 2 or more courts                                                            26

21.......... Dual appointments............................................................................ 26

22.......... Judge also holding office of a prescribed court................................. 26

23.......... Judge also holding office of a State Family Court............................. 27

Division 4—Acting Chief Justice                                                                           28

24.......... Acting Chief Justice.......................................................................... 28

Part 2—Jurisdiction                                                                                                             29

Division 1—Original jurisdiction                                                                          29

25.......... Original jurisdiction.......................................................................... 29

Division 2—Appellate jurisdiction                                                                        30

26.......... Appeals............................................................................................. 30

27.......... Family law regulations to be sole source of certain appellate jurisdiction 32

28.......... Leave to appeal needed for some family law or child support proceedings              32

Division 3—Associated matters                                                                             35

29.......... Jurisdiction in associated matters...................................................... 35

Division 4—Exercise of jurisdiction                                                                    36

Subdivision A—Original jurisdiction                                                                  36

30.......... Exercise of original jurisdiction......................................................... 36

Subdivision B—Appellate jurisdiction (other than relating to courts of summary jurisdiction)                36

31.......... Application........................................................................................ 36

32.......... Exercise of appellate jurisdiction....................................................... 36

33.......... Appeal may be determined without an oral hearing........................... 39

34.......... Cases stated and questions reserved.................................................. 39

35.......... Evidence on appeal............................................................................ 40

36.......... Form of judgment on appeal............................................................. 41

37.......... Court divided in opinion................................................................... 42

38.......... Stay of proceedings and suspension of orders.................................. 42

39.......... Appeals relating to court security orders........................................... 43

40.......... Exercise of certain appellate jurisdiction under family law regulations 43

Subdivision C—Appellate jurisdiction relating to courts of summary jurisdiction       44

41.......... Application........................................................................................ 44

42.......... Exercise of appellate jurisdiction....................................................... 44

Subdivision D—Miscellaneous                                                                               44

43.......... Determination of matter completely and finally................................. 44

Division 5—Certain powers relating to matters of jurisdiction           46

44.......... Making of orders and issuing writs.................................................. 46

45.......... Contempt of court............................................................................. 46

46.......... Summary judgment........................................................................... 46

Division 6—Administration                                                                                      48

47.......... Arrangement of business.................................................................. 48

48.......... Complaints........................................................................................ 49

49.......... Protection for the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice................. 50

Part 3—Certain proceedings not to be instituted in Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                                                                                                             52

50.......... Prohibition on instituting first instance family law or child support proceedings     52

Part 4—Transfer of proceedings                                                                                 53

51.......... Discretionary transfer of proceedings from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)           53

52.......... Discretionary transfer of proceedings to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                54

53.......... Rules of Court................................................................................... 54

54.......... Delegation......................................................................................... 55

Part 5—Appeals                                                                                                                     56

55.......... Appeals to the High Court................................................................ 56

Part 6—Practice and procedure                                                                                  58

Division 1—General                                                                                                     58

56.......... Practice and procedure...................................................................... 58

57.......... Representation................................................................................... 58

Division 2—Documents filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)             60

58.......... Filing of documents in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)           60

59.......... Seal of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) 60

60.......... Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) stamps.. 61

61.......... Writs etc............................................................................................ 61

62.......... Proceedings may be instituted by application.................................... 62

63.......... Limits on length of documents.......................................................... 62

Division 3—Conduct of proceedings                                                                   63

64.......... Place of sitting................................................................................... 63

65.......... Change of venue............................................................................... 63

66.......... Formal defects not to invalidate......................................................... 63

Division 4—Case management                                                                               64

67.......... Overarching purpose of family law practice and procedure provisions 64

68.......... Parties to act consistently with the overarching purpose................... 65

69.......... Power of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) to give directions about practice and procedure in a civil proceeding.......................................................................... 66

70.......... Chief Justice to achieve common approaches to case management with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)....................................................................................... 67

Division 5—Evidence                                                                                                   68

71.......... Oaths and affirmations...................................................................... 68

72.......... Swearing of affidavits etc.................................................................. 68

73.......... Orders and commissions for examination of witnesses.................... 70

Division 6—Judgments                                                                                               71

74.......... Reserved judgments etc..................................................................... 71

Division 7—Common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                                                                                                                       72

75.......... Chief Justice to achieve common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).......................................................................................................... 72

Division 8—Rules of Court                                                                                       73

76.......... Rules of Court................................................................................... 73

77.......... Consultation...................................................................................... 74

Part 7—Management and administration                                                             76

Division 1—Management responsibilities of the Chief Justice              76

78.......... Management of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                76

79.......... Arrangements with other courts........................................................ 77

80.......... Arrangements with agencies or organisations................................... 78

81.......... Arrangements for sharing courtrooms and other facilities................. 79

82.......... Advisory committees........................................................................ 79

Division 2—Chief Executive Officer                                                                   81

Subdivision A—Functions and powers                                                                 81

83.......... Chief Executive Officer..................................................................... 81

84.......... Function of Chief Executive Officer................................................. 81

85.......... Powers of Chief Executive Officer................................................... 81

Subdivision B—Terms and conditions of appointment                                   82

86.......... Appointment..................................................................................... 82

87.......... Term of appointment......................................................................... 82

88.......... Remuneration and allowances........................................................... 82

89.......... Leave of absence............................................................................... 82

90.......... Outside employment......................................................................... 83

91.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 83

92.......... Other terms and conditions............................................................... 83

93.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 83

94.......... Termination of appointment.............................................................. 84

95.......... Acting Chief Executive Officer......................................................... 85

Division 3—Registries and registrars                                                                 87

96.......... Registries.......................................................................................... 87

97.......... Senior Registrars and Registrars....................................................... 87

98.......... Delegation......................................................................................... 87

99.......... Independence of delegates................................................................. 90

100........ Review of power exercised by delegate............................................ 91

101........ Protection for Registrars................................................................... 91

102........ Oath or affirmation of office............................................................. 92

Division 4—Other officers and staff                                                                    93

103........ Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)             93

104........ Marshal............................................................................................. 94

105........ Delegation by Registry Managers..................................................... 95

Division 5—Miscellaneous administrative matters                                      96

106........ Procedural information to be given to unrepresented parties............. 96

107........ Annual report.................................................................................... 96

108........ Delegation of administrative powers of Chief Justice....................... 96

109........ Proceedings arising out of administration of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)          96

110........ Protection of persons involved in handling etc. complaints............... 97

Chapter 4—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                98

Part 1—Constitution                                                                                                           98

Division 1—Constitution                                                                                            98

111........ Appointment of Judges..................................................................... 98

112........ Assignment of Judges to Divisions.................................................. 99

113........ Authorised Judges may manage classes of proceedings................... 99

114........ Style.................................................................................................. 99

115........ Oath or affirmation of office........................................................... 100

Division 2—Terms and conditions of serving Judges                               102

116........ Remuneration.................................................................................. 102

117........ Leave............................................................................................... 102

118........ Outside work.................................................................................. 102

119........ Other terms and conditions............................................................. 103

120........ Resignation from office................................................................... 103

121........ Removal from office....................................................................... 103

Division 3—Disability and death benefits                                                       104

122........ Certification of retired disabled Judges........................................... 104

123........ Pensions for retired disabled Judges............................................... 104

124........ Superannuation for retired disabled Judges..................................... 105

125........ Death benefits................................................................................. 106

126........ Relationship definitions................................................................... 108

127........ Meaning of eligible child ................................................................. 110

128........ Appropriation.................................................................................. 111

Division 4—Judges of 2 or more courts                                                          112

129........ Dual appointments.......................................................................... 112

Division 5—Acting Chief Judge                                                                           113

130........ Acting Chief Judge......................................................................... 113

Part 2—Jurisdiction                                                                                                           115

Division 1—Original jurisdiction                                                                        115

131........ Original jurisdiction—general......................................................... 115

132........ Original jurisdiction—family law or child support matters............. 115

133........ Original jurisdiction—Commonwealth tenancy disputes................ 116

Division 2—Associated matters                                                                           118

134........ Jurisdiction in associated matters.................................................... 118

Division 3—Exercise of jurisdiction                                                                  119

135........ General and Fair Work Divisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)      119

136........ Exercise of jurisdiction—open court or in Chambers...................... 120

137........ Exercise of jurisdiction.................................................................... 121

138........ Decisions to be final........................................................................ 122

139........ Determination of matter completely and finally............................... 122

Division 4—Certain powers relating to matters of jurisdiction         123

140........ Making of orders and issue of writs............................................... 123

141........ Declarations of right........................................................................ 123

142........ Contempt of court........................................................................... 123

143........ Summary judgment......................................................................... 124

Division 5—Administration                                                                                    125

144........ Arrangement of business................................................................ 125

145........ Complaints...................................................................................... 126

146........ Exercise of powers of General and Fair Work Divisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)..................................................................................... 127

147........ Assignment of Judges to locations or registries.............................. 128

148........ Protection for Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge....................... 128

Part 3—Transfer of proceedings                                                                               130

Division 1—Transfer of proceedings to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                                                                                                                     130

149........ Discretionary transfer of proceedings............................................. 130

150........ Transferred proceedings returned to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)      131

151........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 131

152........ Delegation....................................................................................... 132

Division 2—Transfer of proceedings to the Federal Court                  133

153........ Discretionary transfer of proceedings............................................. 133

154........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 134

Part 4—Appeals                                                                                                                   135

155........ Appeals to the High Court may not be brought............................... 135

Part 5—Dispute resolution for proceedings other than proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                                                                                                                                     136

Division 1—General                                                                                                   136

156........ This Part does not apply to proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                 136

157........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to consider whether to advise people to use dispute resolution processes......................................................................................... 136

158........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to advise people to use dispute resolution processes   136

159........ Duty of legal practitioners to consider whether to advise people to use dispute resolution processes      137

160........ Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to advise people about dispute resolution processes......................................................................................... 137

161........ Conciliation..................................................................................... 138

162........ Referral of question of law—dispute resolution process (other than arbitration)      138

163........ Rules of Court about dispute resolution processes.......................... 139

164........ Regulations about dispute resolution processes.............................. 139

165........ Rules of Court about costs of dispute resolution processes............ 140

166........ Rules of Court about dispute resolution processes under the Family Law Act 1975                 140

167........ Consent orders................................................................................ 140

Division 2—Proceedings other than family law or child support proceedings   141

168........ Scope of Division........................................................................... 141

169........ Mediation........................................................................................ 141

170........ Arbitration....................................................................................... 142

171........ Power of arbitrator to refer question of law to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)       142

172........ Review of arbitration award on a question of law etc...................... 143

173........ Arbitration awards.......................................................................... 144

Part 6—Practice and procedure                                                                                145

Division 1—General                                                                                                   145

174........ Practice and procedure.................................................................... 145

175........ Representation................................................................................. 146

176........ Interrogatories and discovery.......................................................... 146

Division 2—Documents filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)             147

177........ Filing of documents in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)           147

178........ Seal of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) 147

179........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) stamps 148

180........ Writs etc.......................................................................................... 148

181........ Proceedings may be instituted by application.................................. 149

182........ Limits on length of documents........................................................ 149

Division 3—Conduct of proceedings                                                                 150

183........ Place of sitting................................................................................. 150

184........ Change of venue............................................................................. 150

185........ Determination of proceedings without a jury.................................. 150

186........ Decisions without oral hearing........................................................ 150

187........ Limits on the length of oral argument.............................................. 150

188........ Written submissions........................................................................ 151

189........ Formal defects not to invalidate....................................................... 151

Division 4—Case management                                                                             152

190........ Overarching purpose of civil practice and procedure provisions..... 152

191........ Parties to act consistently with the overarching purpose................. 153

192........ Power of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) to give directions about practice and procedure in a civil proceeding........................................................................ 154

193........ Chief Judge to achieve common approaches to case management with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)..................................................................................... 155

Division 5—Evidence                                                                                                 156

194........ Oaths and affirmations.................................................................... 156

195........ Swearing of affidavits etc................................................................ 156

196........ Orders and commissions for examination of witnesses.................. 158

197........ Time limits on giving of testimony.................................................. 158

198........ Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) may question witnesses               158

199........ Evidence may be given orally or by affidavit.................................. 159

200........ Offences by witness........................................................................ 160

Division 6—Use of video links or audio links                                                162

201........ Testimony by video link or audio link............................................. 162

202........ Appearance of persons by video link or audio link......................... 163

203........ Making of submissions by video link or audio link........................ 163

204........ Conditions for use of video links and audio links........................... 164

205........ Putting documents to a person by video link or audio link.............. 166

206........ Administration of oaths and affirmations........................................ 166

207........ Expenses......................................................................................... 167

208........ New Zealand proceedings............................................................... 167

Division 7—Orders and judgments                                                                    168

209........ Orders............................................................................................. 168

210........ Reserved judgments etc................................................................... 168

211........ Interest up to judgment.................................................................... 168

212........ Interest on judgment........................................................................ 171

213........ Enforcement of judgment................................................................ 171

Division 8—Costs                                                                                                         172

214........ Costs............................................................................................... 172

215........ Security for costs............................................................................ 172

Division 9—Common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)                                                                                                                     174

216........ Chief Judge to achieve common approaches with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)  174

Division 10—Rules of Court                                                                                  175

217........ Rules of Court................................................................................. 175

218........ Consultation.................................................................................... 176

219........ Documents...................................................................................... 176

220........ Service............................................................................................ 177

221........ Evidence.......................................................................................... 177

222........ Orders and judgments..................................................................... 178

223........ Costs............................................................................................... 178

224........ General............................................................................................ 179

225........ Incidental matters............................................................................ 181

Part 7—Suppression and non-publication orders                                           182

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                         182

226........ Powers of Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) not affected 182

227........ Other laws not affected................................................................... 182

228........ This Part does not apply to proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975                 182

Division 2—Suppression and non-publication orders                               183

229........ Safeguarding public interest in open justice.................................... 183

230........ Power to make orders..................................................................... 183

231........ Grounds for making an order.......................................................... 183

232........ Procedure for making an order........................................................ 184

233........ Interim orders.................................................................................. 185

234........ Duration of orders........................................................................... 185

235........ Exception for court officials............................................................ 186

236........ Contravention of order.................................................................... 186

Part 8—Vexatious proceedings                                                                                   187

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                         187

237........ Meaning of a person acting in concert ............................................ 187

238........ Powers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) not affected           187

Division 2—Vexatious proceedings orders                                                    188

239........ Making vexatious proceedings orders............................................. 188

240........ Notification of vexatious proceedings orders.................................. 189

Division 3—Particular consequences of vexatious proceedings orders 191

241........ Proceedings in contravention of vexatious proceedings order......... 191

242........ Application for leave to institute proceedings.................................. 192

243........ Dismissing application for leave..................................................... 192

244........ Granting application for leave......................................................... 193

Part 9—Management and administration                                                           194

Division 1—Management responsibilities of the Chief Judge and the Chief Executive Officer                194

245........ Management of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)                194

246........ Arrangements with other courts...................................................... 195

247........ Arrangements with agencies or organisations................................. 196

248........ Arrangements for sharing courtrooms and other facilities............... 197

249........ Advisory committees...................................................................... 197

Division 2—Chief Executive Officer                                                                 199

250........ Function of Chief Executive Officer............................................... 199

251........ Powers of Chief Executive Officer................................................. 199

Division 3—Registries and registrars                                                               200

252........ Registries........................................................................................ 200

253........ Senior Registrars and Registrars..................................................... 200

254........ Delegation....................................................................................... 200

255........ Independence of delegates............................................................... 204

256........ Review of power exercised by delegate.......................................... 204

257........ Protection for Registrars................................................................. 204

258........ Oath or affirmation of office........................................................... 205

Division 4—Other officers and staff                                                                  206

Subdivision A—Officers and staff                                                                      206

259........ Officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)             206

260........ Sheriff............................................................................................. 206

261........ Deputy Sheriffs............................................................................... 207

262........ Marshal........................................................................................... 207

263........ Deputy Marshals............................................................................. 208

264........ Family consultants.......................................................................... 208

265........ Staff of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).. 208

Subdivision B—Provisions relating to officers and staff                             208

266........ Arrangements relating to Commonwealth staff............................... 208

267........ Delegation by Registry Managers................................................... 209

268........ Authorised persons to assist the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriffs........... 209

269........ Authorised persons to assist the Marshal or Deputy Marshals....... 209

270........ Actions by or against Sheriff or Marshal........................................ 209

271........ Making arrests under this Chapter or warrants............................... 210

272........ Receivers......................................................................................... 211

Division 5—Miscellaneous administrative matters                                    213

273........ Procedural information to be given to unrepresented parties........... 213

274........ Annual report.................................................................................. 213

275........ Delegation of the administrative powers of the Chief Judge........... 213

276........ Proceedings arising out of administrative affairs of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)........................................................................................................ 214

277........ Protection of persons involved in handling etc. complaints............. 214

Chapter 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                 215

Part 1—Administration of family services                                                           215

278........ Chief Executive Officer has functions of family consultants........... 215

279........ Chief Executive Officer may delegate powers and functions that relate to family consultants  215

280........ Chief Executive Officer may give directions that relate to family services functions                215

281........ Chief Executive Officer may authorise officers or staff members to act as family counsellor or family dispute resolution practitioner...................................................................................... 216

Part 2—Miscellaneous                                                                                                      217

282........ References in other laws to a Judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia       217

283........ References in other laws to a Registrar of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia  217

284........ Review of operation of this Act...................................................... 217

285........ Regulations..................................................................................... 218

 



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 the commencement day 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 the commencement day 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.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(c), the regulations may prescribe a minimum number of Judges (whether appointed as Senior Judges or Judges) that are to 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)  2 Deputy Chief Judges;

                     (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