Family Court chief justice says Abbey petition 'inaccurate'

THE Family Court of Australia's chief justice says a petition calling for reform of Australia's family law system that has 45,000 signatures is not accurate.

The petition, penned by a woman known only as Gill, outlines how a young Western Australian woman supposedly killed herself after the "family court allowed her father, a convicted child sex offender, access to her when she was just a child".

The petition has the backing of nation-wide child safety organisation Bravehearts.

Family Court of Australia chief justice Diana Bryant said she was concerned about "inaccurate information" related to the petition.

In a statement, Justice Bryant said the  matter of Abbey was not heard in the Family Court of Australia at any time.

She said the only orders made by the Family Court of Western Australia were those "requested by Abbey's mother or made with her agreement".

"The case did not proceed to a contested hearing," Justice Bryant said.

"All of the orders were made with the knowledge of the child protection authority, following the recommendation of an experienced psychologist who was appointed at the request of Abbey's parents.

"The orders made were in accordance with Abbey's expressed wishes."

Justice Bryant said she and the chief judge of the Family Court of Western Australia met with Abbey's family and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston last year to discuss what had actually occurred in the proceedings. 

Ms Johnston said the while Justice Bryant was "technically correct" about Abbey's case the petition was focused on the entire Australian family law system, not just the Family Court of Australia.

"Since launching this petition to call for a royal commission, Bravehearts has been inundated with calls  from hundreds of desperate and protective parents and carers, all with their own horror stories, following decisions made in this shambolic system," Ms Johnston said.

"The system is not geared to listen to children let alone hear them and respond accordingly. 

"Instead it responds to the parent with the most influence, money and manipulative powers.  

"Rather than recognise a very obvious problems for children in the current system of family law and taking leadership to ensure the protection of children, the Family Court of Australia has chosen to use its energy to protect itself." 


Topics:  child abuse family court of australia family law petition reform

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Premier soaks up beauty of Whitsundays

ON THE MOVE: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones toured Heart Hotel this morning.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured Heart Hotel this morning.

Beating the drum for Africa

AFRICA NIGHT: Vari Galletly, Sue Tuck and Pam Harrison call for support.

Invictus will be played at WACC for Hakuna Matata night.

Dinner with a twist

TOP SHELF: Dirty Dick's theatre restaurant is coming to Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

There is no award Dirty Dick's can't lay claim to.

Local Partners

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher sequel falls flat

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

THE film's title Never Go Back should serve as a warning to fans.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June