Who can intervene?
Section 91 of the FL A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. empowers the Australian Attorney-General to intervene:
- when requested to do so by a An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate.; or
- when an intervention is in the public interest; or
- in proceedings relating to children.
In an intervention, the Attorney-General has all the rights, duties and liabilities of a A person or organisation directly involved in a court case. Parties include the plaintiff or applicant, the defendant, and any third party added to the action, but not independent witnesses.. It is extremely rare for the Attorney-General to intervene in family law proceedings.
In any proceedings that may affect a child’s welfare, the court may ask a child welfare officer to intervene; this officer then becomes a party to the proceedings (s 91B).
Other people with an interest in family law proceedings (e.g. grandparents) can apply to the court to become a party to the proceedings (s 92).
Intervention by the Attorney-General
The Attorney-General is able to intervene by filing a notice giving reasons for the intervention and for any order that is sought. If the Attorney-General seeks to set aside a decree nisi, an A document that presents written evidence in a court case, setting out what a witness says is true. The witness must swear that it is true and correct in front of an authorised official. This can be done on oath or by affirmation. The person in whose name the document is sworn is called the deponent. must be filed setting out the facts and circumstances that have been relied upon. The notice and affidavit must be served on the other party to the proceedings. These documents can be served personally or by post.
Intervention by other people
Other people may intervene by filing an application stating:
- their relationship to the parties to the A voluntary, formal and legally binding agreement between two people to have a permanent relationship together. There must be a statement in front of official witnesses who register the marriage with the authorities. See also cohabitation; de facto; divorce; domestic relationship.;
- the reasons for the intervention; and
- what court orders they are seeking.
The application must be verified by an affidavit. The documents should be served on all parties who have appeared, or given their address so documents can be served by post (see ‘Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. of documents’, above). If a court grants leave to (i.e. allows) a party to intervene, it may give directions about the further conduct and The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. of the proceedings.