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Key decisions

  • Public Guardian (Queensland) & Beasley and Ors (No. 2) [2015] FamCAFC 201
  • Solonose & Squires [2015] FamCAFC 190
  • Cao & Hong [2015] FamCA 884
  • Mullaly & Beddoe [2015] FamCA 891
  • Fan & Lok [2015] FamCA 816
  • Douglas & Mauldon [2015] FCCA 2217

Procedure – Litigation guardianship waived for Public Guardian

In Public Guardian (Queensland) & Beasley and Ors (No. 2) [2015] FamCAFC 201 (21 October 2015) the public guardian was appointed for the mother by QCAT under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld) and instructed Legal Aid (Qld) to act for her in a parenting case but refused to consent to being appointed as her litigation guardian. Judge Jarrett dismissed Legal Aid’s application for an order dispensing with such an appointment whereupon the public guardian appealed to the Full Court. May J (with whom Strickland and Austin JJ agreed) said at ([81]-[82]):

‘ … The public guardian will be able to take instructions from the mother to the extent she is able to communicate them, and brief Legal Aid to appear on her behalf – confirming an informal arrangement which has already occurred. ( … )

In circumstances where the court can be satisfied that the mother’s interests could be adequately represented and protected, and where there is no barrier to dispensing with compliance with r 11.09, it is clear the primary judge should have accepted Legal Aid’s application to dispense with the FCC Rules.’

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