Hanson’s narrative about women concocting stories about family violence – that she says she understands because of her own son’s experience being ‘falsely accused’ - adds grave insult to serious injury.
The first chief justice of the Family Court, Elizabeth Evatt, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Hanson’s remarks about women falsifying claims of violence were "not true".
“Those sorts of claims need to be substantiated by evidence and not just based on one or two instances you might know of,” Evatt said. "The extent of domestic violence was very great during my time and continues to be. One woman a week is killed by her partner."
Rosie Batty described Hanson’s remarks as ‘incredibly damaging’ and proof she "already has an agenda". The 2015 Australian Of the Year and anti-family violence campaigner has called for the inquiry to be blocked on the grounds it’s either “complete procrastination or doing some kind of political deal”.
WEL Australia is very concerned that the Government has placed another dangerous obstacle in the path of immediate reform of the family law system with this further Inquiry.
“We don’t need another inquiry. We need better protection for litigants and their children,” Gander said. “Court support services are inadequate for efficient and equitable case management. They are under-funded and hence, the expertise required to manage complex cases is simply not available when required.”
The legal and policy director of the Women's Legal Service Victoria, Helen Matthews, said the inquiry is "hugely disappointing”. The fact the terms of reference released include the “appropriateness of Family Court powers to ensure parties in family law proceedings provide truthful and complete evidence" is affronting.
"Putting a huge amount of resources and government time and money to investigating whether women lie is an insult," she said.
Dr Jane Wangmann, senior Law lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, told Radio National on Thursday morning that there is no evidence to support Pauline Hanson’s claims.
How can an individual with a firmly-held, totally unproven agenda objectively oversee a family law inquiry? She can’t.