Inconsistencies in and the inadequacies of the family counselling and FDR confidentiality and admissibility provisions: The need for reform

Cooper, Donna M. (2014) Inconsistencies in and the inadequacies of the family counselling and FDR confidentiality and admissibility provisions: The need for reform. Family Law Review, 4(4), pp. 213-226.

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In this article the author discusses issues arising from counselling and family dispute resolution (FDR) in relation to confidentiality and admissibility, such as whether an admission of abuse to a child, or a threat to harm the other parent, can be disclosed by the counsellor or family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) and used in court proceedings. It is found that the admissibility provisions in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) are far more narrowly defined than the confidentiality requirements and have been interpreted strictly by the courts. There are competing policy considerations: the strict “traditionalist” approach, that people can have absolute faith in the integrity of counsellors and mediators and in the confidential nature of the process, must be balanced against a more “protectionist” stance, being the individual rights of victims to have all relevant information placed before the court and to be protected from violence and abuse. It is suggested that legislative reform is required to ensure that courts balance these considerations appropriately and don’t compromise the safety of victims of abuse and family violence.

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ID Code: 90798
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: counselling, family dispute resolution, family mediation, confidentiality, admissibility
ISSN: 1837-8757
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Lawbook Co.
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2015 23:46
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2015 04:12

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