One Family is very concerned about the current provision of family law services in Ireland and we have been working hard to advocate around the current family law reform process. The Department of Justice has published a General Scheme to provide for specialist family law courts – link here.
We know from working with families, through our services and helpline, that there are major gaps in service provision; that courts do not always ensure safety for children and parents; that there can be a lack of accurate information available to courts; and that there are much better out of court pathways available in other countries with better outcomes for families.
Over the last two years, we have explored some of these issues with webinars on Family Law Reform featuring panels of international and national experts.
Building a Family Law System for Children (July 2021) watch video below
- Building a Family Law System for Families (July 2020) watch video below
We believe that families need to be supported to develop their own solutions to their own issues where possible so there can be long-term sustainable parenting plans put in place that put children’s best interest at the centre of all proceedings.
We have made a number of submissions on Family Law over recent years:
- 2021 | Family Justice Oversight Group Consultation. Link here.
- 2021 | Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice – Submission on the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill. Link here
- 2019 | Development of a Long-Term Courts Service Strategy 2019-2025. Link here.
- 2019 | Vision for a Court Welfare System. Link here.
- 2018 | Fifth Programme of Law Reform (Family Law) Submission Link here.
- 2017 | Courts Service Strategic Plan 2017-2020. Link here.
- 2017 | On the Regulation of the Practices of ‘Child’s Views’ Experts. Link here.
To read our other policy submissions click here
We also sit on a number of committees where we can share our views to have a child-centred, out of court approach adopted to provide for swift, safe and sustainable solutions to family law issues. Our CEO represents One Family on a Department of Justice NGO Family Justice Advisory Group along with seven other organisations from our sector. She also chairs a Court Service Board sub-committee on Family Law Development, in her role to represent court users and sits on the Dublin Family Circuit Court User’s Group.
When appropriate we advocate for Reform of Family Law in the media. Here are just some of the articles:
- The Family Law Courts are no longer fit for purpose – Newstalk 106
- Our Family Law courts are not fit for purpose and we owe it to children to address this now – The Journal
- Our Family Law Courts are not fit for purpose – RTE Drivetime
- District Court President to speak on family law tweaks – Law Society Gazette