Handy Hints for Separate Representatives in the Child Protection Jurisdiction
Kate Mooney and Theresa Eaton
The role of the Separate Representative is constantly developing and expectations are changing with time. Experienced Separate Representatives’ practice varies between themselves and also according to the particular needs of each individual matter. There will be regional differences and difference between judicial officers’ expectations.
We have had a significant shift in the representation of Child Protection (2012) in that it is now being handled by a specialised branch of the DPP instead of private practitioners being briefed. We await the proclamation of the anticipated new Rules to support the Act. In an evolving environment such as this, it is important to be aware of practice trends and have a knowledge of all of the options available to you as Separate Representative.
Even if you are not practising as a Separate Representative, it is very useful to familiarise yourself with the nature and extent of the role so that when you are acting for parents, you can invite the Separate Representative to undertake those investigations and actions which may maximise your client’s chances of success.