Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Decade Long Crises: Australia's Family Law System

From The Guardian:

In New South Wales, a young girl who pulled apart a live lizard in childcare says she has been sexually abused by her father and grandfather; in Queensland, an overworked judge takes seven years to hand down a decision; Aboriginal children removed by authorities from the victims of family violence in Western Australia are having reunification delayed because a family court dealing with a backlog of cases will not sit in the region for months.

A federal government is again proposing reforms relating to family law amid an enormous backlog of cases. In 2018, the Morrison government announced plans to scrap the family court and merge it with the federal circuit court, which was established under Williams in 2000 as the federal magistrates court.

Labor is against the changes, believing they are part of an ideological war by the government to dismantle a court system it never supported. Judges are under the pressure of high volume of cases. Covid-19 has added further complexity. The courts, and those who work in them, agree that generally they have dealt fairly well with pushing cases through.

Read more here.

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