Published: 19 June, 2023

Statement by The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1 and Division 2) - Response to ABC Report – False Witness

19 JUNE 2023

Recordings expose family court expert witness under investigation by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - ABC News

The re-voiced recordings and issues disclosed in the ABC report “False Witness” are very concerning. Whilst it appears that the family was not involved in proceedings issued in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Divisions 1 or 2) at the time of engaging the psychologist, the Courts are very alarmed at the alleged behaviour of the psychologist.

This is highlighted by the allegation that the family was not provided with the support and guidance they sought. 

The article by the ABC refers to a psychologist who operates privately and is not employed or was engaged by the Courts. Complaints made about private psychologists are the responsibility of the regulatory authority. The Courts’ administration has no oversight or regulatory authority over these private practitioners.

Psychologists and social workers who are engaged as family consultants by the Courts are highly skilled and experienced. They are selected through a rigorous recruitment process, subject to a comprehensive clinical governance framework and extensive quality assurance processes to ensure their work is of a high standard, and are provided with ongoing training and supervision.