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All specialist judges will stay despite family court overhaul, Attorney-General says

Attorney-General Christian Porter says all specialist judges will keep their place in the family law system, despite a mass overhaul.

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Courts will be amalgamated next year, prompting concerns judges specialising in child abuse and domestic violence cases will be phased out.

Mr Porter tells Ben Fordham this isn’t the case.

“All of the existing judges will be transferred either across to division one where the Family Court judges will go, or division two where the Federal Circuit Court judges will go.

“The idea that we’re going to miss out on personnel… I don’t think is a very accurate assessment of what we’re doing.

“Some of the most skilled judges in Australia… are going to be the people hearing appeals from this new court.

Both courts are currently sorting through a major backlog of cases, with some families forced to wait several years to have their matters resolved.

The Attorney-General says the evidence is clear, having two courts “just isn’t working” and the merger will help resolve cases faster.

“It’s a miserable time for families when they enter the family court system and the job of government is to provide a system that makes that as quick and as low cost… as possible. Not to drag it out.”

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