What changes will the Bill make?

This update is for people interested in looking at the details of the legislation. We’ll be providing some plain English materials on the Bill and the changes it would make in the next week or so.

We have put together an extracted version of the Family Law Act that shows what the Act would look like if the Family Law Amendment Legislation (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill is passed, and how these changes are different to the Draft Bill that was released in December last year. The document does not include the changes made to the Family Law Act in the ‘Other Measures’ part of the Bill.

It’s a bit complicated so we’ve used a few different colours and comments to try to explain what is going on – read the first page of the document for an explanation.

We prepared this document for use in our own analysis of the Bill and thought we would share it in case it is useful to other organisations doing the same. We can’t guarantee its accuracy (actually, this was so complicated, we are pretty confident we made a mistake somewhere!), so please double check the original Act and Bills yourself and let us know if you find any mistakes in our version!

Download the amended Family Law Act extract

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Bill referred to Senate Committee for inquiry

The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill has been referred to the Senate Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee for an inquiry. Submissions are due on 29 April and the Committee will report back to the Senate on 23 June. You can find the Committee’s inquiry page here.

We encourage organisations and individuals to put submissions into this inquiry to support the measures in it and to call for further changes to ensure that the family law system does not jeopardise the safety of women and children. Women’s Legal Services Australia will prepare some materials to assist people in putting in submissions similar to those that we prepared for the consultation on the draft bill.

In the meantime, you might want to contact the Shadow Cabinet to encourage them to support this Bill, as it looks like they will be considering this in the near future.

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Encourage the Shadow Ministry to support the Family Violence Bill

The Shadow Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, has announced that the Liberal Party is likely to support the Family Violence Bill, and that Shadow Cabinet will be considering this next week.

We expect that there will be some small but vocal opposition to this from father’s rights groups. Let’s make sure that the Shadow Ministry hears from those of use who support the Bill (and what it to go much further) as well as those against it.

We’ve put up some details about who to call or write to and a sample email here.

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Family Violence Bill announced

This morning the Attorney-General has announced that he is introducing the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 into Parliament today. This followed consultation on the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010 Exposure Draft, which was supported by 73% of respondents. While the proposed changes are an important first step to better protecting the safety of women and children in the family law system, more changes are necessary to ensure the family law system does not jeopardise the safety of women and children.

Read our media release on the announcement here.

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It’s time to fix our family law system

The family law system is failing to keep women and children safe from family violence. Find out more about Women’s Legal Services Australia’s campaign, including:

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