733. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Justice the timeline for the drafting of a new family law Bill to include the recommendations of the report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on the reform of the family law system 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10030/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Family law reform is a major element of my Justice Plan 2021. The Programme for Government contains a commitment to enact a Family Court Bill to create a new dedicated Family Court within the existing court structure and provide for court procedures that support a less adversarial resolution of disputes.
In September 2020, the Government approved the drafting of a Family Court Bill along the lines of the General Scheme which I have published. In the preparation of the General Scheme, account has been taken of the Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on the Reform of the Family Law System, published in October 2019.
The publication of the General Scheme is a first step in an ongoing process of improving how people are able to resolve family-based problems that require a legal solution. The overall aim is to change the culture so that the focus of the family justice system meets the complex needs of people who need help with family justice issues.
The General Scheme of the Family Court Bill has been referred to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting and to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is not possible at this stage to indicate when the Bill is likely to be published or to predict the timeframe for the legislative process with regard to the Bill after its publication. Question No. 734 answered with Question No. 712.