Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General, the Honourable Christian Porter MP)
AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT AND FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS) BILL 2019
1. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 ('FCFC Bill'), together with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019 (together, the Bills), would bring the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Federal Circuit Court) and the Family Court of Australia (the Family Court) together into an overarching, unified administrative structure to be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFC). The structural reforms facilitated by the Bill would create a framework in the FCFC for common leadership, common management and a comprehensive and consistent internal case management approach.
2. On 5 December 2019 the Senate referred the Bills to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. In its report released 20 November 2020, the committee's sole recommendation was that the Bills be passed.
3. The purpose of these amendments is to provide for the Rules of Court of the FCFC Division 1 and the Rules of Court of the FCFC Division 2 to be made solely by the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge, respectively, rather than by a majority of Judges, for the first 18 months from commencement (instead of two years from commencement). The power to make Rules of Court reverts back to the Judges, or a majority of them, thereafter.