Court Process Delays

In a recent Judgement a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court noted the length of time the matter had taken a parenting matter to get to trial.  The proceedings from beginning to end took 19 months.

The Judge referred to the delay in his reasons as follows:  (the Application was finally determined by the Court on on 10 October 2014
These proceedings have been before the Court for some little time.  The matter was commenced by an Initiating Application filed 25 March 2013. It is regrettable that the matter has taken the time that it has to reach a final hearing, but it has reached a hearing as promptly as the circumstances of the case and the resources of the Court have allowed.  It would be ideal for matters of this nature to be able to reach final hearing within the six months originally mandated and envisaged for the Court. However, the Court’s workload (in the case of my docket, comprising over 620 matters), means that such targets are simply “pie in the sky” and can never be realistically achieved. On occasions when matters are extraordinarily urgent they are accommodated and heard within a space of months, but it is at a cost and disadvantage to other litigants whose matters must yield, including this matter.  The proceedings have worked their way through the process as quickly as could be accommodated in light of the need for the parties to attend to a number of matters, such as Family Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution, the appointment and full instruction of an Independent Children’s Lawyer, preparation of a Family Report and the like.

Court procedures can be slow and cumbersome. Judges do their best but they are limited by the resources and time available to them.  Of course there may have been many reasons why the investigations etc were required in this case but perhaps in hindsight the parties may have given more consideration to mediation at some point during the process.  In fact they may have engaged a family report writer privately and when armed with the recommendations entered into mediation rather than court proceedings.
Mediation can be undertaken at any time.  In fact timing of mediation can be very important.  It is often the case that participants in mediation need to be “in the right frame of mind” and also need to be in a position to make an informed decision before mediation will be effective.
Contact Randal now to discuss your particular circumstances at this point in your proceedings.  You probably found this article because you are now thinking it is an appropriate time to mediate.  You are probably right.