Indigenous list

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Court) runs a specialised Indigenous List, or modified case management processes to accommodate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander litigants, in five locations:

  • Adelaide
  • Alice Springs
  • Darwin
  • Melbourne, and
  • Sydney.

The 2019–2021 Reconciliation Action Plan strives to translate the Court’s commitment to equal access to justice for all Australians into practical approaches and policies that deliver equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and families. The Indigenous List is part of the Court’s commitments under the Reconciliation Action Plan, and aims to provide greater access to justice for people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and have a family law issue to resolve.

Indigenous Lists differ from other court lists as they adopt a degree of informality, there are specialised support services available on the day, and the judge may decide to close the courtroom to the public, if considered appropriate. In some locations, Indigenous liaison officers help parties to understand and engage with court processes, and connect parties to legal and other support services.

In registries where the list operates, where parties have identified on their Initiating Application (Family Law) or Response to Initiating Application that they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, the matter will be transferred to the list. If, during a proceeding, it becomes apparent that the applicant or respondent identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, the judge or judicial registrar has the discretion to transfer the matter to the list.

If you would like to file into the Indigenous List, it is best to identify your status as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on the Initiating Application (Family Law) or Response to Initiating Application. In the event this does not happen, please email a request to either of the following: