Exploring the impact and effect of self-representation by one or both parties in Family Law proceedings involving allegations of family violence

Project summary - MJ.18.01

The project examines the impact and effect of self-representation by one or both parties in Family Law proceedings involving allegations of family violence (FV).

This project will consider all the potential issues that flow from self-representation including potential delays, frivolous claims, cross-examination, inappropriate questioning of other witnesses, use of proceedings to control or intimidate a victim, the capacity to effectively present and test evidence, and the possibility of adverse outcomes. It will also seek to assess the use of tools, services and other measures that have been developed to assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) with a particular focus on the needs of parties experiencing FV.

The project will:

  • generate new knowledge regarding the impact of self-representation on participants' experiences of the family law process where the victim and/or the perpetrator of the violence are self-represented;
  • document current practice in the Family Law Courts when one or both parties are without legal representation and the matter involves allegations of family violence;
  • identify strengths, deficiencies or gaps in current practice; and
  • make recommendations that seek to respond directly to the issues, concerns and practices that are documented in the research.

Researchers

Project Lead 

Dr Jane Wangmann, University of Technology, Sydney

Research expertise

  1. Ms Miranda Kaye, University of Technology Sydney
  2. A/Prof Tracey Booth,  University of Technology Sydney

Project length

2+ years

Budget

$248,879