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Family Law Amendment Bill 2023

The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee in response to its inquiry into the provisions of the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth).

The Bill, introduced on 29 March 2023, proposes the ‘first tranche’ of legislative reform addressing the 2019 Final Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), Family Law for the Future—An Inquiry into the Family Law System (ALRC Report)1 and implementing elements of the 2023 Government Response to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System.2

The Law Council acknowledges that the Bill was introduced with, and seeks to complement, the Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2023 (Cth), into which the Committee inquired and tabled a report on 14 June 2023. It recommended that the Bill be passed, subject to two further recommendations.3

The Law Council supports reform to Australia’s family law system, including the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act), that facilitates the resolution of parenting disputes and places the best interests, safety and wellbeing of any child to a family law proceeding at the centre of the decision-making process. The Law Council observes that many of the proposed changes are intended not only to improve the substantive law but to make it easier to understand, both for self-represented litigants and for separating couples who are negotiating their own parenting arrangements without litigation, and likely without the assistance of any family law professional.


1 Australian Law Reform Commission (‘ALRC’), Family Law for the Future – An Inquiry into the Family Law System (Final Report 135, March 2019).
2 Australian Government, Australian Government response to the inquiry of the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (January 2023).
3 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2023 [Provisions] (Report, June 2023) 19.

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