Family Law and Arbitration

December 5th, 2018

Left to Right: Chief Judge The Hon Will Alstergren, Judge Caroline Kirton, Dr Vicky Priskich and Martin Bartfeld QC before proceedings commenced at the Family Law and Arbitration seminar.

Family law and arbitration – courts and arbitrators working together to find alternative ways to resolve family law disputes

The Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Australia hosted a seminar on family law and arbitration, which was held on Tuesday 13 November 2018 at the Commonwealth Law Courts Building, Melbourne.

The seminar focussed on the process of arbitration and its particular application in the family law context. Guest speakers included Judge Caroline Kirton of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Martin Bartfeld QC, Barrister and Arbitrator, Victorian Bar.

The session was introduced by Acting Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, The Hon Justice Will Alstergren, and chaired by Dr Vicky Priskich, CIArb Australia National Councillor and Victorian State Convenor.

Acting Chief Justice Alstergren is supportive of this initiative which aims to engage and inform the legal profession on how arbitration could be better utilized to help resolve appropriate family law disputes.

“Private arbitration in appropriate property cases is an extremely efficient way for parties to quickly obtain a determination and resolution of their dispute, rather than waiting for a trial date. It may be for a preliminary issue or to determine the entire matter.

“Arbitration was utilised during the Federal Circuit Court’s national call overs of family law matters and we will continue to work with the profession to ensure that the family law courts have the capacity to expeditiously deal with issues that may arise during the course of an arbitration which includes fast tracking applications seeking a review of arbitral wards,” Acting Chief Justice Alstergren said.

CIArb Australia President, Caroline Kenny QC said, “This seminar signals an important initiative between the Institute and the courts to assist separating families resolve disputes. The courts support the use of arbitration in family law property disputes to facilitate the timely, and where the parties require it the private, resolution of disputes. As CIArb Australia is part of a global network which offers internationally recognised accreditation, arbitration is the most effective way to enforce family law property disputes involving cross border assets.

Acting Chief Justice Alstergren is to be commended for fostering an inclusive and positive culture that embraces change and innovation and we look forward to working with him and the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.”

*Full coverage of this seminar will be published in the 2018 edition of The CIArb Australia News