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In this article, Paul von Dadelszen, a recently retired Judge of the Family Court of New Zealand, discusses that part of the proposed reforms to that Court which are claimed by the New Zealand Government to improve stopping violence programmes attended by perpetrators of domestic violence. He questions whether that claim is valid. Although the Government has said that the programmes will be tailored to individual needs, that is not the way that the amending legislation has been drafted. It appears to concentrate solely on addressing violence; other needs (which research says should also be addressed), such as drug and/or alcohol assessment and counselling, and life skills education, are ignored. The author also expresses the concern that, unlike in the United Kingdom, victims are not involved in assessing programme effectiveness and accordingly no proper risk assessment can be made. He suggests that the proposed reforms do not reflect best practice.
By Judge Paul von Dadelszen QSO, Retired District Court Judge
The full version of this article appears in the October 2013 issue of International Family Law.
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