It's a sign of the times when the Family Court and Federal
Circuit Court decide to launch their very own official YouTube
channels – we're definitely in the digital age! These
channels aim to provide informational 'how to' videos to
the public, allowing the unrepresented to more easily navigate the
It's a savvy idea and one that couldn't have come at a
better time – with the courts receiving over 31,000 divorce
applications each year that lack legal representation, anything
that alleviates the mounting pressure on the already backlogged
system is a welcome relief.
In a recent media release, the Family Court of Australia has
acknowledged that aspects of the divorce process, such as serving
documents, can cause confusion to self-represented parties.
It's no surprise then that 'How to apply for a divorce:
serving divorce papers' was the first video to be uploaded on
both YouTube channels.
The first but surely not the last, more videos are expected to
be uploaded and all will provide a free service aimed at improving
understanding of court processes and the ability to perform
pre-trial procedures and similar.
The move to YouTube reflects the prominence of visual and online
media in contemporary society, and is a clever way to tap into the
zeitgeist. Indeed, more and more people are computer literate and
are using Internet platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
among others to consume digital information – to not tap into
the aether in this manner would be a missed opportunity.
The YouTube channels introduce a novel approach of explaining
family law systems, and are a valuable resource for family lawyers
too (if admittedly low on content at the present). They offer an
engaging alternative to the kits that the Family Law Courts website
already provides to assist with the preparation of court documents,
making the court process even more transparent to the public.
In retrospect, it's not a particularly surprising move
– the Family Court has been abuzz on Twitter since late 2012.
You can find them @FamilyCourtAU.
The new YouTube channels are the logical next step and help to
make key information more accessible. Next up, Facebook?
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