Carmel has been an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) since late 2012.
After the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Family Court of Australia orders the appointment of an Independent Children’s Lawyers, the Legal Aid Commission of the state of the registry of the Court will appoint a trained ICL from their ICL panel.
An ICL will present information to the court about your child’s welfare and views. Each child’s case is different but generally before making a submission to the court, the Independent Children’s Lawyer will:
- Read all the affidavits.
- Examine any subpoenaed documents.
- Talk with your child (depending on their age and the circumstances of the case).
- Talk to the family consultant and other relevant people including teachers, doctors, psychologists or counselors to help inform their recommendation to the court.
- Listen carefully and consider the evidence, if a case goes to hearing. Not all information is evidence; the Independent Children’s Lawyer can only rely on evidence.
The Independent Children’s Lawyer then applies family law cases and law to all this information. While each case is different, the lawyer may look at past similar cases to decide what submission to make to the court. It is important to remember that the Independent Children’s Lawyer will follow the law.
With the evidence and this information, the Independent Children’s Lawyer will form an independent view of what is in the best interests of the child to present to the court. The court will also be made aware of any views expressed by your child.
With thanks to the National ICL website for the above summary of the ICL’s role.