Annual CLE by the Sea March 2020

The Central Coast will host a gathering of Australia’s leading family law and child abduction experts when family lawyers from across the State converge at the Terrigal Surf Club on 19 March 2020 for the annual CLE by the Sea.

Speakers at this years CLE event

Her Honour Judge Terry from the Federal Circuit Court at Newcastle will speak about interim hearings in family law matters involving risk and family violence issues. This is a significant issue for the over 100 family lawyers practising family law on the Central Coast, which has one of the highest domestic violence rates in the State.

The latest NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) statistics[1] indicate there were 1,624 domestic violence related assaults in 2019 on the Central Coast (or more than 30 each week). Across NSW domestic violence related assaults increased 5% in 2019 and breaches of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders increased 12.4%.  Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas saw a 10.4% rise in domestic violence related assaults in 2019.

The Honourable Ian Coleman SC, a former Justice of the Family Court, and Melissa Gillies SC from Culwulla Chambers in Sydney who will enthral the audience with practical tips on briefing barristers and the cross-over between estate and family law.

Emily Thomas, from the Commonwealth Attorney General’s office in Canberra (the department with the responsibility for ensuring Australia complies with its international obligations under the Hague Child Abduction Convention) will be speaking. There will be delegates from the Department of Communities and Justice and delegates from International Social Services Australia in attendance.

Maurice Edwards, Special Counsel at Watts McCray Lawyers, will be chairing a Q&A session on international child abduction.  Mr Edwards says: “The Hague Child Abduction Convention was implemented into Australian law over 33 years ago.  In a smaller world where international travel is far easier, where international relationships are more prevalent and the technology to keep in contact is so much more advanced, questions are being asked as to whether all of the provisions of the Hague Child Abduction Convention are still relevant.

The CLE event is chaired by the Honourable David Collier, a former Family Court Justice, and is hosted by Watts McCray Lawyers – one of Australia’s leading family law firms with offices in Erina, Sydney, Parramatta and Canberra.

If you would like to register for the event, please click here. 

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