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FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 37B

Independence of Registrars

             (1)  Notwithstanding any provision of this Act other than subsection (3), and any provision of the Public Service Act 1999 or any other law, in the performance of a function or the exercise of a power under this Act, under the regulations or under the standard Rules of Court (other than a power delegated by standard Rules of Court under subsection 37A(1)):

                     (a)  the Principal Registrar is subject to the direction and control of the Chief Justice and is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or body;

                     (b)  a Registrar is subject to the direction and control of:

                              (i)  the Chief Justice;

                             (ii)  any other Judge authorized by the Chief Justice to direct and control that Registrar; and

                            (iii)  the Principal Registrar;

                            and is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or body; and

                     (c)  a Deputy Registrar is subject to the direction and control of:

                              (i)  the Chief Justice;

                             (ii)  any other Judge authorized by the Chief Justice to direct and control that Deputy Registrar;

                            (iii)  the Principal Registrar; and

                            (iv)  the Registrars;

                            and is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or body.

             (2)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Principal Registrar may, subject to this Act and to any directions of the Chief Justice, make arrangements as to the Registrars or Deputy Registrars who are to perform any functions or exercise any power under this Act, under the regulations or under the standard Rules of Court (including a power delegated by standard Rules of Court under subsection 37A(1)) in particular matters or classes of matters.

             (3)  The powers of the Principal Registrar in relation to the Registrars and the Deputy Registrars, and the powers of the Registrars in relation to the Deputy Registrars, shall be exercised subject to the directions of the Chief Justice.

             (4)  Subject to subsection (4A), action must not be taken in relation to the Principal Registrar, a Registrar or a Deputy Registrar (or a former Principal Registrar, Registrar or Deputy Registrar):

                     (a)  by an Agency Head under section 15 of the Public Service Act 1999 ; or

                     (b)  by the Australian Public Service Commissioner under section 41B of that Act; or

                     (c)  by the Merit Protection Commissioner under section 50A of that Act;

unless the Chief Justice has requested the Agency Head, the Australian Public Service Commissioner or the Merit Protection Commissioner to take such action.

Note:          Sections 15, 41B and 50A of the Public Service Act 1999 make provision for dealing with an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct (within the meaning of that Act) by an APS employee or a former APS employee.

          (4A)  Subsection (4) does not apply if the Prime Minister has requested the Australian Public Service Commissioner to take action under section 41B of the Public Service Act 1999 in relation to the Principal Registrar, a Registrar or a Deputy Registrar (or a former Principal Registrar, Registrar or Deputy Registrar).

             (5)  In this section, Registrar means a Registrar of the Court.



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