Panel Established: Litigation Guardian Selection

December 3, 2019 | 2 Comments

The Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons announced the “establishment of a panel of persons from whom litigation guardians appointed by the Court under the Children Act 1998 must be selected.”

Minister Kathy Lynn Simmons said, “Our responsibility is to make sure any polices aimed at protecting and providing representation to our most vulnerable citizens – our children, are in accordance with the law. The litigation guardian is under a duty to represent the child and safeguard the child’s interests in certain proceedings.

“As the Minister responsible for child and family services, I am pleased to be the first Minister to establish a panel of persons to serve in this capacity. The Chief Justice has been advised accordingly and the Court can now effectively select a litigation guardian from the panel unless it is satisfied that it is not necessary to do so in order to safeguard the child’s interests.

“The panel is comprised currently of five persons who are qualified, certified and experienced social workers. The number of persons on the panel may increase in due course based on resource and service requirements.

“The Ministry will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the present legislative scheme for the appointment of litigation guardians and counsel, whilst simultaneously advancing a fiscally sustainable and independent model in keeping with best practice in this area.”

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    I was with the Attorney General until she said “… whilst simultaneously advancing a fiscally sustainable and independent model …”.

    The reason no government has ever appointed independent litigation guardians is because it cannot control the cost. A litigation guardian without good legal advice and representation is a figurehead at best. So the cost of a litigation guardian must include the cost of a family law lawyer.

    I am somewhat concerned as well that the Attorney General did not name the panel of “certified and experienced social workers”. They will all be known to the relevant people, so why not name them? That would go a long way to alleviating any angst on the part of the people involved.

  2. che says:

    Who? This should be transparent.

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