It appears we have more children who need lawyers than we have lawyers

Who would have thought we’d need more lawyers.

The Children’s Commissioner says it is not feasible to provide all children exposed to family violence with their own lawyer, because there simply aren’t enough lawyers to go around.

The recommendation was made by Coroner Carla na Nagara after she investigated the suicides of four teenage girls in Flaxmere between 2013 and 2014, who all came from families characterised by domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse.

Children’s commissioner Russell Wills said the police attended family violence callouts involving 55,000 children each year.

He said that if each were to be given their own lawyer, that would tie up nearly all the country’s legal resources.   

Dr Wills said that while the overhaul of child protection services should help, more work was needed across the whole of society to prevent men being violent towards their partners and children.

“What we do need to do is have much earlier intervention in the lives of those children.

“So when we implement the recommendations from Paula Rebstock’s [CYF overhaul] expert panel and we do it properly and fully resourced – those recommendations, that will help. ”

Dr Wills’ term as Children’s Commissioner ends in July, when Principal Youth Court judge Andrew Becroft will take over.

Sounds awfully like a make work scheme for the legal fraternity.

We need to start putting scumbags who hit and abuse kids behind bars for a long time…that might go some way to alleviating the issue.




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  • biscuit barrel

    There already is a lawyer, vastly experienced who does this work all the time, and wont cost the government any more money, who can be soley guided by childs best interests
    Oh, the are called Judges

  • Beria

    Lawyers imply adversary court procedures, delays and appeals. So while the proper legal process is allowed to work its way through, should we also appoint a team of security guards to move in and work with the families?

  • XCIA

    I can not see why all children exposed to family violence would their own lawyer. Surely, the police and child & family services would provide for the children whilst the abusive parents would need a lawyer?

  • Dave

    No no no no no no The suggestion they need a lawyer is akin to only training the goalie in a soccer team to stop the opposition scoring any goals, the goalie is the last line of defence, surely in this case, better parenting and support is the answer to fix the root cause. Why do people constantly call for more ambulances at the bottom of the cliff, instead of looking and working back to the root cause.


    Then again, one can guarantee these kids came from less than an ideal family environment, the feral factor meter would be going into overdrive. The same basic issues in the “taMoko” issue, poor parenting, lack of community, silencing an issue, violence and so on.

    To me, this is yet another call to weed out the poor parents, and the ferals who create these type of environments at the start, not put yet another service in place to pick up the pieces.