Tryon & Clutterbuck and Attorney-General of the Commonwealth 2010 FamCAFC 229
A trial judge ordered parties to attend an appointment with a family consultant. One party wanted to be legally represented during interviews with the family consultant, but the family consultant declined to proceed under this arrangement. The party appealed that the trial judge had erred by not allowing their solicitor to be present in the interview, arguing that the family consultant discharges functions that are analogous to judicial functions.
The appeal court ruled that family consultants do not make findings of fact as only a court can make findings about factual matters. Family consultants make observations and provide expert evidence only, and if their report is controversial then they can be cross-examined.