The New Zealand Bar Association deplores any form of violence and abuse against members of our society.
However, caution needs to be exercised when allegations of systematic bias are levelled against the Family Court by the Backbone Collective. What it offers by way of evidence is largely anecdotal evidence from ten women. If it has compelling evidence supporting its allegations, it should present it to Parliament. The opportunity to consider such evidence would be welcomed by those of our members involved in family law.
Family lawyers act at the ‘coalface’, for individual women, men and children. They are an effective watchdog of family justice. They have no vested interest in a biased or discriminatory system nor in promoting the interests of any particular gender of client. In any case where a client has not been treated appropriately by the Family Court, family lawyers are there to advocate that justice be done, through appeal, judicial review or by lobbying for law change. If systemic failures and biases exist in the Family Court, such as are suggested by the Backbone Collective, then family lawyers would lead the demand for change.