A new campaign, ‘Courting Disaster’, is calling on the Government to fund a dedicated family law courts complex at a site on Hammond Lane. The campaign was launched by a coalition including the Law Society of Ireland, The Bar of Ireland and the Family Lawyers’ Association, along with legal rights groups FLAC, Community Law & Mediation, the Children’s Right Alliance, and charities Barnardo’s, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, theNational Women’s Council Ireland, One Family and Women’s Aid.
The coalition is highlighting the “archaic” conditions in which family law and childcare cases are currently being held: “A properly functioning courts system is essential to providing access to justice.
“Some of the most vulnerable members of society seeking to resolve family law proceedings, often arising from relationship and marital breakdown and domestic violence, are currently faced with wholly unsuitable and inconsistent court facilities where not even basic needs are met, such as separate waiting areas, family-friendly spaces and consultation rooms to allow for privacy.
“These archaic conditions significantly increase stress and anxiety in what are typically very sensitive cases, and this can result in volatility and even violence in the course of family law litigation.
“A more effective and efficient administrative organisation of the court structure and improvement in court facilities will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the management of family law applications and lead to reductions in delays and cost which is in the interest of all parties to proceedings.
“The site at Hammond Lane is ready and awaiting the construction of dedicated family law facilities. We are calling on Government to make the necessary funding available without any further delay, so that the deficiencies in the current family law system can begin to be addressed.”