Learning from the Australian Experience

In the British debates concerning possible amendment to the Children Act, considerable prominence has been given to the experience in Australia, which reformed its laws in 2006.

 

The Norgrove Report on the family justice system considered certain options for amending the law, but in the end recommended against this, relying very heavily on what it understood to be the problems in Australia.

 

However, almost none of the arguments made by the Norgrove Committee or the single parent organisations that oppose reform can be supported by the available evidence.

 

This paper from Professor Patrick Parkinson AM, University of Sydney, reviews the background to the Australian reforms, examines what the Norgrove Committee understood the Australian experience to be, corrects the record in terms of what the research actually shows about post-separation parenting arrangements in Australia after 2006 and, finally, considers what might be beneficial amendments to the Children Act 1989 in the light of the Australian experience.

 

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Learning from the Australian Experience
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