Expert Panel on ALRC Report ‘Family Law for the Future’

Presented by ANU College of Law

A Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) Event, ANU College of Law

For decades now, family law has been an area of law subject to much debate, criticism and government reform. In March 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission handed down its report on a full and comprehensive review family law system, entitled 'Family Law for the Future: An Inquiry into the Family Law System.'

The recommendations in the report were broad and numerous. What are the implications of these recommendations for families, family law practitioners, and courts? How, and to what extent, do the recommendations address key issues which prompted the inquiry including; addressing the fragmentation of the family law experience, improving care outcomes for children, better ensuring the safety of children, and creating more certainty for property disputes?

A panel of 3 family law experts will outline their responses to these and other questions about the Final Report. The experts include; the Hon. John Faulks, Professor Richard Chisholm, and Dr Juliet Behrens.

For legal practitioners, 1 CPD point in core area 4 may be applied.

This event is free and open to the interested public. Registration is required.

About the speakers:

Dr Juliet Behrens: Juliet Behrens is a nationally-recognised expert in family law. She has worked as an academic at the ANU College of Law between 1991 - 2010. She moved into family law practice as a solicitor, since 2017 has been working as a barrister and mediator. She has authored many family law publications, including as co-author of Australian Family Law: The Contemporary Context (Oxford University Press). Her research focused on the treatment of family violence in the family law system, and on relocation disputes. She is a long-standing member of the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Family Law, and a member of the Australian Bar Association and ACT Bar Association's Family Law Committees.

Professor Richard Chisolm: Richard Chisholm was a founding member of the Law School at UNSW in 1970, where specialised in family law and children's law. In 1993 he was appointed a Judge of the Family Court of Australia based at the Sydney registry. Since retirement from the bench in 2004, he moved to Canberra, where he is an Honorary Professor at the ANU College of Law. He continues to research and publish on family law topics and work with various bodies associated with law reform and children's rights. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of NSW in 2019.

The Hon. John Faulks: Beginning as a solicitor and barrister, John Faulks went on to work as a partner in a number of law firms. In 1994, he was appointed as a judge in the Family Court of Australia. In 2004, he was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of that court. Since retirement from the bench in 2016, he has worked as a mediator. In 2017, he was appointed a commissioner for the ALRC and he worked on the ALRC Family law inquiry. He has also served as president of the Law Council of Australia, President of the Law Society of the ACT, and chair of the Family Law Council.