7A Lawyers acting for parties

(1)

A lawyer may act for a party to a proceeding under this Act that is to be heard and determined in the Family Court only as provided in subsections (2) to (6).

(2)

A lawyer may act for a party to a proceeding commenced by an application made under subpart 4 of Part 2.

(3)

A lawyer may act for a party to a proceeding if that party is the Crown.

(4)

A lawyer may act for a party to a proceeding that is—

(a)

commenced by an application made without notice until such time (if at all) as a Family Court Judge directs that the application proceed on notice:

(b)

commenced by an application made on notice from such time (if at all) as a Family Court Judge directs that—

(i)

the application proceed as if it were an application made without notice; or

(ii)

the application be heard by the court in conjunction with an application that is filed under any other Act; or

(iii)

the application proceed to a hearing:

(c)

commenced by an application made without notice that a Family Court Judge has directed proceed on notice, from such time (if at all) as the Judge makes a direction of a kind specified in paragraph (b)(ii) or (iii).

(5)

A lawyer may act for a child who is a party to a proceeding if the lawyer has been appointed by the court under section 7 to represent that child.

(6)

A lawyer may act for a party at a settlement conference convened under section 46Q if a Judge directs that the parties may be represented at that conference.

(7)

A direction referred to in subsection (6) may be made by a Judge if the Judge considers that—

(a)

at least 1 of the parties needs legal representation at the settlement conference; and

(b)

the parties having legal representation at the settlement conference will be likely to facilitate settlement of the issues in dispute by agreement between the parties.

(8)

In this section,—

act, in relation to a party, means—

(a)

to sign any document for the party:

(b)

to file any document for the party:

(c)

to accept service for the party:

(d)

to represent the party in court, or otherwise attend with the party before a Judge or Registrar

party to a proceeding includes a party to a proposed proceeding.

(9)

To avoid doubt, nothing in this section prevents a lawyer from—

(a)

giving legal advice to a party:

(b)

preparing any document for a party:

(c)

conducting negotiations for a party.

Section 7A: inserted, on 31 March 2014, by section 5 of the Care of Children Amendment Act (No 2) 2013 (2013 No 74).

Section 7A(1): amended, on 1 March 2017, by section 261 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).