Legislation promises safer court proceedings

Date: Jun 24, 2013

A new piece of legislation that was introduced on Thursday (June 20) should make federal court and tribunals much safer for those in attendance.

The Court Security Bill 2013 has been designed to both specify and extend the role of security officers in court and how they manage safety risks during proceedings.

Thanks to this legislation, these officers are now allowed to request security screenings and place objects that are deemed dangerous aside for safe-keeping. It also outlines exactly what offences they are authorised to deal with and how.

All security officers will also be required to undergo training and obtain licenses in order to exercise their newly acquired powers. This will make sure they are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to manage threats effectively.

Mark Dreyfus, attorney-general, has welcomed the bill and believes the measures it includes will prove especially useful in the field of family law.

"Federal court proceedings, particularly family law proceedings, are often highly charged and sometimes involve hostility and violence," said Mr Dreyfus in a June 20 statement.

He said that threats to security can be common in the family law courts, and officers are frequently called upon to assess and limit the risks to proceeding participants.

"Effective court security arrangements are a critical precondition for the effective administration of justice," Mr Dreyfus continued.

It is important that federal courts are secure so that people feel safe enough to attend, and have their disputes heard and hopefully resolved.

If you are currently in need of some family law advice, Craddock Murray Neumann can help.

We have an experienced team of family lawyers that are here to make sure you feel safe, are listened to and ultimately aid you in coming to some sort of settlement.

Whether you need assistance with child custody issues, divorce proceedings or other family crises that require legal attention, our team can get you through this difficult time.

In addition to this, the Court Security Bill 2013 will ensure that if you are required to attend the federal court or a tribunal, you will be protected from harm.

Shayne Neumann, parliamentary secretary to the attorney-general and former family lawyer, said he has seen first-hand "how important increased security is for the court staff, legal counsel and their clients".

He explained that the new bill is replacing the current court security framework contained in the Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971.