In May 2017 the Federal Government announced that there would be a comprehensive review of the family law system, the first to occur since the Family Law Act 1975 came into effect in 1976. The budget also provided an $80 million funding boost to the family law system to address the criticisms of being underfunded and understaffed.
The purpose of this review is to reflect the changing needs of modern Australian families, with a particular focus on how to better protect victims of family violence and child abuse in family law proceedings.
You can read original budget announcement about transforming the Family Law System here
Attorney-General the Hon George Brandis QC has announced that the review will be conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission and will be run by Melbourne Law School Professor Helen Rhoades. The Report is expected to be published in March 2019 and is expected to provide a comprehensive proposal for changes to our existing family law system.
In his announcement, the Hon George Brandis QC stated:
“This review is necessary and long overdue. Australian families and their needs have significantly evolved since the 1970s. The review of the family law system will be broad and far reaching, focusing on key areas of importance to Australian families. These include ensuring the family law system prioritises the best interests of children, best addresses family violence and child abuse, and supports families, including those with complex needs to resolve their family law disputes quickly and safely while minimising the financial burden.”
Terms of reference for this review have now been published by the Hon George Brandis QC and can be reviewed here
The Family Law team at Kott Gunning Lawyers will continue to monitor developments and share them on our Facebook page @kottgunning
The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.