Independent Children’s Lawyers: Multiple perspectives on expectations and experience of practice

Independent Children’s Lawyers: Multiple perspectives on expectations and experience of practice

In this seminar, the lead researcher on the ICL Study, Dr Rae Kaspiew, presented an overview of the main findings of the project.

Scales of justice

This event was held on Tuesday 18 February 2014.

Independent Children's Lawyers (ICLs) are appointed in some family law matters to represent the best interests of children. Recent research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has examined ICL practice on the basis of multiple perspectives from ICLs, judicial officers, other legal and non-legal professionals in the family law system and parents and children who have been involved in litigated matters with an ICL. The research shows that the ICL role has three important aspects: evidence gathering, litigation management and supporting children's participation.

Different stakeholders place different levels of emphasis on the relative importance of each of these functions, with participation being least emphasised by family law system professionals. From the perspective of the children and parents involved in the research, current ICL practice in the area of supporting participation falls short of expectations. In this seminar, the lead researcher on the ICL Study, Dr Rae Kaspiew, will present an overview of the main findings of the project.

About the presenters

Dr Rae Kaspiew is a leading socio-legal researcher with particular expertise in family law and family violence. She manages the Family Law and Family Violence research program at AIFS.