Emily Clark for ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reports:
They’ve been described as the “gods of the court” — the report writers whose written assessments can affect the Family Court’s decision on which parent gets custody of their children.
For parents who say the report writer got it wrong, the choice is stark: pursue the legal “fight of your life” to overturn the report or accept losing custody of your kids.
Now, a group of parents has banded together to launch a challenge against one report writer in New South Wales, alleging his practices “place the public at risk”.
The group has accused him of a string of failures including “grossly inaccurate and incomplete” recording of interviews, “misdiagnosis”, and that he “applies unscientific theory”, particularly in response to allegations of child abuse and family violence.
Their campaign has resulted in the alleged problem practitioner being referred to the Medical Council of New South Wales, a body that has the ability to suspend the practitioner’s registration if it believes the public is at an immediate risk.
The group of parents hope their action will bring renewed scrutiny to the regulation of Family Court report writers, who critics say can operate “beyond the rule of law”.