Specialist Panel for Child Support (2007/01)

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Court) has established a Child Support Panel.

The Court sees the establishment of panels in its specialist jurisdictions as an important stage in the ongoing development of the Court. The Court believes that the Panel system will best enable it to use its judicial resources effectively according to its jurisdictions and to maintain the Court's commitment to the economical, less formal and prompt disposition of its workload.

The Panels provide an opportunity for members to develop and maintain expertise in the jurisdictional areas allotted. Panels have been established in order to ensure that work is handled by judges with expertise in the area and with a commitment to allocating appropriate priority to the cases assigned to them.

The Court maintains its commitment to serving the community in rural and regional Australia by travelling to country centres to hear cases when requested and facilitating hearings through the use of video link, telephone directions and electronic filing.


The Panel, which comprises of judges in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, can hear:

  • appeals from the Social Security Appeals Tribunal
  • appeals from the Child Support Registrar
  • appeals from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with respect to child support transferred from the Federal Court of Australia, and
  • international child support and child maintenance cases.

Other child support and child maintenance applications will continue to be listed in accordance with existing listing practices.

Convenor and allocation of cases

The Chief Judge will from time to time appoint a Convenor of the Panel.

Cases will be allocated to panel members in the relevant State or Registry. Where there is not a Panel member in the relevant Registry, cases will be allocated by the Convenor.

Urgent Applications

Urgent applications will be dealt with in accordance with Part 5 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001. The Registry will be the first contact point for any urgent applications received in normal business hours. District Registries can provide information on the means of making urgent applications, both during and outside of ordinary business hours. Urgent applications in Panel cases made out of business hours will be considered by the Duty Judge, who may, depending on the circumstances, make arrangements for urgent applications to be referred to a Panel member.

Members of Child Support Panel

Judge Brown (Adelaide) 
Judge Riethmuller (Convenor) (Melbourne) 
Judge Sexton (Sydney)
Judge Slack (Brisbane)
Judge Halligan (Parramatta)