What is the Magellan list?
The Magellan List is a pathway established by the Family Court, for it to deal with cases involving serious allegations of physical and sexual child abuse. It has been operating since 2003.
Evaluations of the process have found that cases determined through this process have significantly less court events, involve less judicial officers, have earlier reports from child protection authorities, (DOCS) and cases are more likely to settle (and more quickly)
Magellan matters are considered in the Family Court, not the Federal Circuit Court. Requests for transfer to the Magellan Lists are not accepted as a matter of course. Usually, the case should be one that has forensic issues or significant legal issues that require unusual or significant argument or determinations. Therefore, the request for transfer from the Federal Circuit Court to the Family Court should be made as soon as possible once the complexity of the abuse allegations has become apparent.
Procedure in Magellan Matters
When a matter is accepted as a Magellan matter, the court aims to have the matter listed for trial within 6 months.
Magellan case management is only available in cases brought to the attention of the court by way of a ‘Notice of Risk’ Form.
The process usually involves:
* Case identified as Magellan matter,
* ‘Directions hearing’ before Magellan Registrar, usually resulting in the appointment of an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL),
* 2 weeks later the Magellan Judge lists the case for ‘mention’ and orders are (usually) made for a report from DOCS and the issuing of subpoenas,
* 6 weeks later the Magellan report is released and a further Expert Report ordered,
* After the release of the Expert Report (approximately 8 weeks later) the matter is listed and given trial dates, in approximately 4 weeks’ time.
To receive advice about your rights and entitlements, please contact Michael Lynch Family Lawyers at your convenience.