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Family Law – the law for all of us

Content updates

Family Law is important to us at Thomson Reuters. It affects everybody and it enters our lives at difficult times, often at our lowest ebb. Working in Family Law is a calling, requiring the truest of true grit. How do we support family lawyers?

As well as having access to family-law-specific precedents, protocols, cases and a daily news service, the Family Law practice area is broken up into six areas of law, currently containing the following subject areas:

Adult Relationships (Family Violence, Family Proceedings (pts 1–5), Marriage, Protecting Children from Violence commentary).

Child Law (Care of Children Act, Care and Protection (commentary relating to the OTA), Youth Justice (commentary on pt 4 of the OTA), Adoption, Child Support Act, Paternity (Status of Children commentary) Surrogacy and Human Assisted Reproduction).

Family Procedure (Family Court Rules 2002, Family Proceedings Act 1980 (pts 9-11), Evidence in the Family Court and Costs and the Family Court).

Family Property (Property (Relationships), Administration, Family Protection, Law Reform (Testamentary Promises), Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (pts 3A and 4), Succession (Homicide), Trusts, Family Proceedings Act 1980 (pts 6-8 and 11), and Wills).

Incapacity (Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment), Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation), Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) and Protection of Personal and Property Rights).

Legal Services (Legal Services Act and Regulations plus a wide range of information on legal aid and related legal services administered under the Legal Services Act 2011 and regulations).

Our authors include academics (all well-known in the field and involved in expert panels by the Law Commission, speaking at conferences, authoring books and journal articles and being called upon for insight) and family law practitioners – barristers, partners, directors, the coal face.

So what have we been getting up to?

In the last couple of years, we have gone on a comprehensive reviewing bent (a bent we are still on, by the way) to update older content and even to change the way we produce the content. The reviewing is not the general review done each update but an extensive review and where required, a re-write. We are finding that practitioners are much more fond of having section-by-section commentary throughout an Act itself, rather than discursive commentary, so we have been working on this as well. It takes a long time to rigorously review a large amount of content that took years to grow and to re-create the format of the commentary provision, but we are determined to provide the most helpful, easily accessible commentary to those who need to use it.

So since 2021, we have:

  • Reviewed and updated the Family Court Rules 2002 (annotated legislation) [Procedure].
  • Reviewed and updated the “Evidence in Family Court” chapter (discursive chapter) [Procedure].
  • Reviewed and updated the “Protection of Children from Violence” chapter (discursive) [Adult Relationships].
  • Reviewed and updated the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (annotated legislation) and introduction (a book in the Handbook series was published as a result in August this year, the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992: Act and Analysis) [Incapacity].
  • Reviewed and updated the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (annotated legislation) and introduction (a book in the Handbook series was published as a result in June this year, the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988: Act and Analysis (3rd edition)) [Incapacity].
  • Removed the Trusts discursive chapter and replaced it with section-by-section commentary throughout the Trusts Act 2019 (now annotated legislation and sought after by non-family lawyers as well) [Property].
  • Introduced the Succession (Homicide) Act 2007 with section-by-section commentary and an introduction [Property].
  • Reviewed and replaced the “Principles of Adoption” chapter with a substantial discursive introduction chapter “Adoption in New Zealand” (substantial because there is nowhere to place a lot of the material of the last 68 years within the outdated Adoption Act itself) [Child Law].
  • Introduced the Adoption Act 1955 with section-by-section commentary [Child Law].

What are we going to get up to next?

What we are getting up to next is:

  • Introducing the Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 with section-by-section commentary – this work is being undertaken now and could be available before the end of the year [Child Law].
  • Replacing the Care and Protection discursive chapter with the annotated Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 with section-by-section commentary throughout. We are currently reviewing the Care and Protection discursive chapter and moving the resultant commentary under the appropriate sections of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, hoping to have the new annotated Oranga Tamariki Act in Child Law in the first half of next year [Child Law].
  • Open to suggestion!

All of this work has been undertaken at the same time as authors have been undertaking their normal regular updating and reviewing; and the authors have full-time family law and academic careers outside of what they do for Thomson Reuters. So, it has, without a doubt, been a challenging couple of years but the result is what we wanted for those working in the industry. Our aim is to provide what family law practitioners need for what they do. And we love what they do.

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