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Letters of advice

Letters of advice provided by the Family Law Council are listed below.

International Parental Child Abduction proposed amendments (June 2012)

The council provided a letter of advice to the former Attorney-General in response to an Attorney-General’s Department discussion paper.

Improving the interface between child protection and the family law systems (May 2012)

This letter of advice includes Council’s comments of fifteen recommendations made in an options paper prepared by the Attorney-General’s Department.

Education Campaign for Family Violence Bill (December 2011)

The council supported the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs’ report recommending an education campaign.

The Rastall & Ball decision (June 2011)

An own motion letter of advice was provided to the former Attorney-General expressing concerns about the possible effect of a ruling regarding the application of section 10H and 10J of the Family Law Act 1975 to family dispute resolution intake assessments.

International Parental Child Abduction (March and August 2011)

A letter of advice was provided on 14 March 2011 in relation to international parental child abduction in response to terms of reference issued by the former Attorney-General.

On 5 August 2011 the council provided a further letter of advice in response to a request by the former Attorney-General and the former Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The letter of advice was on the issue of child support in cases of international parental child abduction.

Enhanced Family Dispute Resolution (December 2010)

The council provided the former Attorney-General with a letter of advice on the former Australian Government’s policy initiative to enhance family dispute resolution.

Confidentiality and Inadmissibility in the Family Law Act (October 2010)

The council, by its own motion, provided a letter of advice to the former Attorney-General seeking consideration of broader information sharing and integration across the family law system to deal with family violence and child abuse.

Mental Health Issues (December 2008)

The former Attorney-General was provided advice on amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 regarding mental health issues in the family law system.

Binding Financial Agreements – Black and Black (October 2008)

The council provided the former Attorney-General with advice on the possible consequences of the Full Court’s decision in Black and Black on the validity of existing binding financial agreements.

Kinship Carers for Indigenous Children (October 2008)

A letter of advice was provided to the former Attorney-General concerning kinship carers of indigenous children and support for adherence to the Indigenous Child Placement Principle.

Arbitration of Family Law Property and Financial Matters (September 2008)

The council considered arbitration of family law property and financial matters, focusing on compulsory arbitration but also considering ways of promoting voluntary arbitration in the family law sector.

Binding Financial Agreements (May 2008)

The council considered the effect of the words in s90G of the Family Law Act 1975 and provided a letter of advice to the former Attorney-General.

Advice on the recommendations made in Council’s 2000 report Litigants in Person (December 2006)

In August 2000, the Family Law Council prepared a report titled Litigants in Person. In a letter of advice on 13 December 2006, the council reconsidered the recommendations in the report to ascertain whether they have been implemented or superseded by other developments and if they have any ongoing relevance.

Children with Intellectual Disabilities (December 2006)

The council provided comment to the former Attorney-General in relation to the Children with Intellectual Disabilities Regulation of Sterilisation Bill 2006

The 'Child Paramountcy Principle' in the Family Law Act 1975 (January 2006)

This letter of advice discusses the amendments made to the Family Law Act 1975 by the Family Law Reform Act 1995 in relation to the paramountcy principle (the rule that the best interests of the child must be regarded as the paramount consideration when making specified decisions in the Family Law Act 1975).

Joint Letter of Advice on immunity for family counsellors and family dispute practitioners under the Family Law Act 1975 (November 2005)

A joint letter of advice by the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC) and the Family Law Council on the requirement for immunity for family counsellors and family dispute resolution practitioners under the Family Law Act 1975 was provided to the former Attorney-General.

Review of binding financial agreements provisions in Parts VIII and VIIIA of the Family Law Act 1975 (November 2004)

The council provided a letter of advice to the former Attorney-General which reviews the binding financial agreements provisions in Parts VIII and VIIIA of the Family Law Act 1975.

Violence - Division 11 of the Family Law Act 1975 (November 2004)

The council provided this letter of advice to the former Attorney-General on 17 November 2004, making recommendations intended to simplify and improve the operation of the provisions in Division 11 in Part VII of the Act.

Violence and Property Proceedings (August 2001)

This letter of advice proposes a reform to Part VIII of the Family Law Act 1975 in order to direct courts exercising jurisdiction under the Act to have regard to the effects of family violence on the contributions of both parties in considering what orders should be made in property proceedings. The proposal reflects council’s concerns about the effect of the decision of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia in the case of In the marriage of Kennon (1997) 22 Fam LR 1.

Recommendation 109 of the Australian Law Reform Commission (March 2001)

In this letter of advice council recommends that the Family Law Act 1975 not be amended in accordance with the ALRC Report 109 Recommendation.

Parenting Plans (March 2000)

The council, in cooperation with the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, looked into issues arising from parenting plans made under the Family Law Act 1975 including the continued need for section 63E of the Act.

Guidelines for Legal Assistance (August 1999)

The council provided comments on Commonwealth priorities and guidelines for legal assistance in respect of matters arising under Commonwealth law.

Part VIII of the Family Law Act (March 1999)

The council’s advice considers the principles and objects which should underpin the property provisions in Part VIII of the Family Law Act 1975.

Transfer of Services to FACS (October 1998)

Advice from the Family Law Council regarding the proposed transfer of the Family Relationships Services Programs (FRSP) from the former Attorney-General's portfolio to the new Family and Community Services portfolio.

Primary Dispute Resolution Services in Australia (May 1998)

The letter considers a range of issues relating to Primary Dispute Resolution services.

Family Court in Alice Springs (August 1998)

The council provided a letter of advice which included the need for an Aboriginal mediator to be located in Alice Springs.

ALRC Issues Paper 22 (August 1998)

Council considered the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Issues Paper No 22 Review of the adversarial system of litigation: Rethinking family law proceedings (November 1997).

Civil and Religious Divorce (August 1998)

The council considered the effects of denial of a religious divorce on a party who has been divorced in the civil courts. The council concluded the problems as identified in the letter of advice, arise from the observance of religious practices and not from any shortcomings in the Family Law Act 1975.

Step-Parent Adoptions (May 1998)

The council considers concerns about the operation of the Family Law Act 1975 in relation to step-parent adoptions.

Legal Aid Guidelines (March 1998)

The council’s advice on the Commonwealth's Legal Aid Guidelines.

Arbitration in Family Law (March 1998)

The council’s advice on proposed amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 relating to arbitration in family law.