A Judicial Studies Programme & Hague Conference on Private International Law seminar

The Hochelaga Lectures 2015: The Judiciary’s Role in Safeguarding the Well-being of the Child

First Lecture:
Parental Responsibility Disputes in the Australian Family Court: Lessons from a Decade of Reform

The Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act came into force in Australia on 1 July 2006 with the goal (among others) of introducing a less adversarial approach to family law disputes involving parental responsibility. This lecture will consider the effectiveness of the reforms implemented by the Act. To what extent has there been a “culture change” for the better in the way family law relating to parental responsibility for children is being administered in Australia today? What challenges remain? The lecture is topical given recent proposals by the Chief Justice’s Working Party (WP) for similar reforms of the procedural rules of the Hong Kong Family Court (for the for the WP’s Interim Report and Consultative Paper, see The Hong Kong Government is likewise working to enact the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission (LRC) on child custody and access (see for the LRC’s March 2005 Report).