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THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF HONG KONG - page 346 / 360

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15.126We recommend that a provision granting immunity on similar lines to section 19M of the Australian Family Law Act 1975 should be introduced to protect qualified family mediators. (Paragraph 12.136)

Legal advice

15.127We recommend that a provision on the lines of Order 25A, rule 12 of the Australian Family Law Rules, which states that a mediator is required to advise the parties that they should obtain legal advice as to their rights, duties and obligations, should be adopted. (Paragraph 12.137)

Enforcement of mediation agreements

15.128We do not see the need to amend section 14 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap 192) to remove any apparent obstacle to enforcement of a mediation agreement.  This section provides that a provision in a maintenance agreement restricting the right to apply to a court for an order concerning financial arrangements is void. (Paragraph 12.139)

Arrangements for children

15.129We recommend that rules of court facilitate mediation agreements being converted into consent court orders.  This should assist both compliance with the terms of the agreement, and its enforcement in the event of the arrangements breaking down. (Paragraph 12.142)

Parenting plans

15.130We recommend the adoption of a provision for parenting plans (which could be registered in the Family Court) similar to the provisions of the Australian Family Law Reform Act 1995.  A section 18 declaration under the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap 192) would still be made which could have the parenting plan attached.  Parenting plans should be encouraged, and there should be a grace period when they would be voluntary.  They should only become mandatory at a later stage to ensure their use on a more extensive basis. (Paragraph 12.147)

Part I - Child Abduction Law

Power to detain

15.131We recommend that a similar provision to section 37 of the Irish Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 be enacted in Hong Kong.  However, we do not propose to go so far as to have a general power of arrest.  

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