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Research on family violence

This department periodically funds research projects to evaluate the impact of recent family law reforms.

Recent research has included investigations into family violence and the family law system.

Family violence and family law in Australia

Following the 2006 family law reforms the former Australian Government commissioned research into family violence and its impact on the family law system.

The project surveyed a broad sample of parents and children to examine how family violence has affected their access to courts and dispute resolution services as well as post-separation parenting arrangements.

This research was commissioned in 2009 and conducted by collaboration between the University of South Australia and Monash University and included Flinders University and James Cook University.

Family Violence and Family Law in Australia

Research
In 2010, this report examined the impact of family violence, which had occurred before, during and or after parental relationship breakdown, on post-separation decision making and arrangements as viewed by children and parents.

The family courts violence review

The former Australian Government commissioned the Family Courts Violence Review in 2009 to assess the appropriateness of the legislation, practices and procedures that apply in cases before the federal family courts where issues of family violence arise, and to recommend any improvements.

The theme of the review is that family violence must be disclosed, understood and acted on throughout the family law system.

In particular, the review examined whether:

  • the practices and procedures in the family courts encourage appropriate disclosure of family violence
  • appropriate support is provided within the court system for families who have experienced or are at risk of violence
  • information disclosed to the courts by litigants or their representatives is appropriately shared or made available within the courts
  • the legislation and procedures support best practice for handling family violence matters
  • appropriate legal representation is provided in such cases.

Recommendations were made to ensure that the interests of the child remain paramount by improving court practices, information sharing and legal protections.

Family Courts Violence Review

Research
In 2009, the Family Courts Violence Review was commissioned to assess the appropriateness of the legislation, practices and procedures that apply in cases before the federal family courts where issues of family violence arise, and to recommend any improvements.