Learning & events

Webinar | Review of the children's participation in the family justice system in Aotearoa New Zealand: an update on findings and recommendations

with Dr Deb Inder

Tuesday 30 August, 2022 | Online

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (AEST)

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Review of the children's participation in the family justice system in Aotearoa New Zealand: an update on findings and recommendations


Dr Deb Inder will offer an update on findings and recommendations from her review undertaken for the Ministry of Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This review focuses on the types of processes in which children currently participate under the Care of Children Act 2004 and the Family Dispute Resolution Act 2013. This includes examining engagement with lawyers for children, specialist report writers and judicial meetings. The findings from the review will be used by the Ministry of Justice and potentially by family justice professionals to develop evidence-based initiatives to enhance children’s participation.

The review is to consider how the needs of specific population groups can be best met, including Māori children, specifically considering child participation best practice within te ao Māori and tikanga Māori. It is also to address best practice in cases where there is a risk of family violence as well as the needs of children from specific population groups, including children from other cultural minorities, those with disabilities, children of different ages and from various family environments.

Although this review was of the Aotearoa New Zealand system the reflection and considerations will have great relevance for the Australian context.

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About the speaker

Dr Deb Inder
Barrister and Accredited Mediator

Admitted to the Bar in 1998, Dr Deb Inder is a Barrister and Accredited Mediator. Deb conducts both FDR and private mediations as well as regularly appearing in the Family Court as Court Appointed Lawyer for the Child and on behalf of Private and Legal Aid clients. Deb has a Post Graduate Diploma in Child Centred Practice (with Distinction) and a PhD in Law, her Thesis topic being: ‍Children’s Participation Rights within the Context of the New Zealand Family Justice System.

As a result of her research, she has appeared in London to speak at the International Centre for Family Law Policy and Practice Conference and in Wellington at the New Zealand Law Society Family Law Conference.

Deb is an accredited NZ Law Society Family Specialist Mediator and a member of the New Zealand Family Law Section.

Deb is also a committee member of the Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (CRAANZ) an alliance that reports directly to the UN Committee of the Child on the New Zealand Government’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Qualifications and Affiliations

  • PhD in Law: Thesis topic, Children's participation in the context of the New Zealand Family Justice System
  • Postgraduate Diploma (with distinction) in Child Centred Practice
  • BA LLB Otago University 1997
  • New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) accredited Family Specialist Mediation Panel Member
  • Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Member of the NZLS and NZ Family Law Section
  • CRAANZ Committee Member

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