Broken Family Law system failing most vulnerable in society.
28th May 2019
Treoir, the National Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children call for urgent reform of Ireland’s Family Law System.
At its annual general meeting, keynote speaker Helen Coughlan, Vice-Chairperson of the Law Society’s, Family & Child Law Committee said, “The current family law system is broken and failing the most vulnerable in our society. Legal aid has not kept abreast of developments in the complexity of the law, the needs of clients or what it now involves to defend and represent a client. The longer the issue of legal aid is ignored the greater we are contributing to the justice gap, one inequality compounding another.”
Treoir’s CEO Damien Peelo said, “There are significant problems in how the legal system and family courts operate. The family mediation service is grossly under resourced and this has significant consequences for shared parenting and for parents unable to afford often costly legal services. Calls to our National Information Service tell a painful story of people’s difficulties in accessing legal services and how the Family Courts exacerbate tensions between vulnerable parents.”
Calling on the Minister for Justice to introduce a properly resourced Alternative Dispute Resolution system, Peelo said, “We need a family law system that is fit for purpose in twentieth- first century Ireland and that everyone, irrespective of means, can access.”