ALRC: Review of the Family Law System (May 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 competent; and disability aware. We also highlight the challenges in regional, rural and remote areas and call for equity of access to legal and support services in RRR areas. We highlight the importance of implementing the 2014 Productivity Commission recommendation to increase legal assistance funding in civil law, including family law, by an additional $200 million a year and the need for additional resourcing of the family law system, including family dispute resolution, specialist social support services, contact services, family consultants and judicial officers. download