Women's Legal Services Australia has made a submission in response to the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties) Bill 2018. In the submission we welcome a ban on direct cross examination of victims-survivors by their alleged abuser. However, the protections offered by this Bill can only make a real difference with:
proper funding to ensure that both the victim and the perpetrator have a legal representative to act on their behalf and conduct the cross-examination properly for them; and
further reform to improve the understanding of the family law courts and all professionals within the...
View the full submission 30 August, 2018
Women’s Legal Services Australia has made a submission in response to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System Issues Paper. In this submission, we advocate to prioritise safety, to improve accessibility and to recognise diversity. We call for better recognition that harm perpetrated against the adult victim-survivor is also harm perpetrated against the child. We also call for better recognition that coercive and controlling behaviour can continue and escalate post separation.
We highlight the importance of the family law system being family violence, child abuse and trauma informed; culturally...
View the full submission 15 May, 2018
Women's Legal Services Australia has made a submission to the Treasury's review of early release of superannuation benefits under compassionate and financial hardship grounds and for victims of crime compensation. In this submission we support the early release of superannuation in circumstances of family violence as a last resort, noting the competing policy concerns of women's finanacial recovery from family violence, the superannuation gap for women and women's poverty in later life. WLSA also emphasises the ongoing responsibility of state and federal governments to meet the needs of women and children escaping family...
View the full submission 14 February, 2018
Women’s Legal Services Australia has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in response to the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence & Other Measures) Bill 2017. In this submission we welcome provisions to criminalise the breaching of family law personal protection injunctions, we express support for the broadening of state and territory courts’ family law jurisdiction contingent upon increased resources and training and we express strong support for the Family Law Council recommendation of research about system abuse prior to any changes to the court's power to dismiss matters.
View the full submission 8 February, 2018
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Women’s Legal Services Australia has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in response to the Family Law Amendment (Parenting Management Hearings) Bill 2017. In the submission we call for Parent Management Hearings to be delayed and for implementation to be specifically considered by the Australian Law Reform Commission in their comprehensive review of the family law system before piloting such an untested model. WLSA believes the current Bill provides insufficient safeguards for people experiencing family violence.
The submission is available through this link on the Parliament of Australia website.
View the full submission 7 February, 2018