Australia's Fragmented Family Law System: Jurisdictional Overlaps in the Area of Child Protection

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, Vol. 16, pp. 38-70, 2002

Posted: 1 Oct 2010

See all articles by Fiona Kelly

Fiona Kelly

La Trobe Law School

Belinda Fehlberg

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

This article presents an empirical study of jurisdictional overlaps in the area of child protection. The study comprised a qualitative analysis of two samples of cases drawn from the Children’s Courts of two state jurisdictions (Victoria and the ACT). Cases from each sample were then tracked in the federal Family Court of Australia. The study found that in over two thirds of the cases the relevant child protection authority withdrew from the Children’s Court proceedings and moved the matter to the Family Court. This was done on the basis that a “viable carer” had been identified and that carer had obtained, applied for, or was willing to apply for Family Court orders.

Keywords: Australia, Child custody, child protection, Concurrent jurisdiction, Federalism, family law

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Fiona and Fehlberg, Belinda, Australia's Fragmented Family Law System: Jurisdictional Overlaps in the Area of Child Protection (2002). International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, Vol. 16, pp. 38-70, 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683674

Fiona Kelly (Contact Author)

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142
Australia

Belinda Fehlberg

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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