People with children


  • Judicial Commission of NSW, Equality before the Law: Bench Book (2018).
    7.3 discusses practical considerations relevant to women’s experience of court processes, including the fact that many women are the main carers of children and other relatives, and the lack of child care facilities in courts may need to be taken into account when considering hearing dates and times.


  • Supreme Court of Queensland, Equal Treatment Bench Book (2nd ed, 2016).
    It is noted that access to justice for women and men with children may be hindered by the lack of availability of appropriate childcare facilities (p.167).


  • Department of Justice (WA), Equal Justice Bench Book (2nd edition September 2017).

    Note: Chapter 10 Women is currently under review. Until revision is completed, the first edition chapter 10 applies. The following text is based on the first edition chapter.

    Provides statistics on who does most unpaid childcare [10.1.5). Identifies the potential for gender bias in court proceedings if the child care role is not taken into account [10.2.2]. In relation to child care commitments and court proceedings: ([10.3.4])

    • Given the lack of childcare facilities in courts and respite care generally, you may need to take these factors into account when considering the start and finish times on any particular day, the dates of hearings, adjournment dates, and the need for adjournments or breaks — for example, to allow a witness or juror to check that any necessary care arrangements are in place.
    • Note that a woman may need adjournments to breastfeed her child or to express milk.


  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2017).
    Section 13.5: Social context: when parents flee from domestic violence explores the particular issues parents may face, such as decisions whether to take children with them, and implications for legal proceedings around custody as a consequence. Also see Section 13.10.1: Assessing child safety and best interests in domestic violence context, and footnote 179, which states that ‘[i]n a family context, concerned targeted parents may remain or return to abusive homes in order to serve as a buffer between the abuser and the children, particularly in jurisdictions where abusers are regularly awarded unsupervised access or even custody of children’.