Long Overdue: Review of Family Law System gets underway

19 March 2018
Rose Lockie, Partner, Melbourne Jason Walker, Partner, Melbourne

The second stage of the Federal Government’s Family Law review commenced on 14 March 2018 with the release of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Issues Paper.

The release of the Issues Paper follows the announcement in September last year by then Attorney-General Senator George Brandis QC that the Federal Government planned to undertake a “root and branch review’ of the Family Law system in Australia, the first comprehensive review of the system in 40 years.

The Family Law review will be conducted by Helen Rhoades, a professor at Melbourne Law School and a former chair of the Family Law Council.

The ALRC has invited submissions in response to 47 questions it has identified as being relevant to the matters listed in the Terms of Reference. The ALRC has grouped these questions into seven overarching topics:

  1. Objective and principles;
  2. Access and engagement;
  3. Legal principles in relation to parenting and property;
  4. Integration and collaboration;
  5. Children’s experiences and perspectives;
  6. Professional skills and wellbeing; and
  7. Governance and accountability.

Louise Dorian, Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Family Law Section Executive Committee and a Senior Associate in the Family Law team at Gadens, believes that the review is long overdue.

‘The Family Law system is in dire need of streamlining and financial resourcing. This review seems a credible and appropriate opportunity to gain an overall understanding of the true extent of the issues facing people in the Family Law system.’

In addition to Ms Dorian, a number of Gadens’ Family Lawyers will also be involved in the review, with partners Rose Lockie and Jason Walker, members of the Executive Committee, looking forward to contributing to the LIV’s response to the Issues Paper, drawing on their many years of experience and client feedback about the problems with the current system.

Submissions to the Issues Paper close 7 May 2018. The ALRC plans to release a Discussion Paper in September 2018 with the Final Report due in March 2019.

 

Authored by:
Jason Walker, Partner, Melbourne
Rose Lockie, Partner, Melbourne
Louise Dorian, Senior Associate, Melbourne
Eleni Martakis, Lawyer, Melbourne

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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