On 10 March 2019, the Family Law Act 1975 was amended to include s102NA which will see direct cross examination banned in certain circumstances. The Act will protect victims of family violence by requiring that cross examination must be conducted by a legal representative, either a privately retained lawyer or one funded through a legal aid scheme. The changes apply to matters which are listed for final hearing after 10 September 2019.
Please see information sheet prepared by the NSW Legal Aid Office for further information.
The Court should be informed if matters they are hearing are impacted by these amendments.
Parties should be aware that they may be eligible for funding under the cross-examination scheme.
Parties in receipt of funding under the scheme do not have grants of legal aid. Accordingly, section 117(4)(a), which precludes the making of a costs order against a party who has received legal aid in respect of the proceedings, does not apply .
Costs applications may still be made in appropriate circumstances.
If you are seeking advice in relation to a family law court matter, contact Claire Naidu & Co, Lawyers and Mediators for family law advice. Click here for our contact details.
Note: This blog does not constitute legal advice and Claire Naidu & Co is not responsible for any reliance upon its contents.