There is nothing more inscribed nor thought nor felt and this must comfort the heart’s core against Its false disasters - these fathers standing round. These mothers touching, speaking, being near. These lovers waiting In the soft dry grass. [Wallace Stevens. “Credences of Summer”!
“I have come to regard the law courts not as a cathedral but rather as a casino”. [Richard Ingrams, former Editor of Private Eye.]
Before entering into discussion of the substantive topic, it should be said that Australian Family Law is, in one sense at least, always new. It is without question one of the most scrutinised areas of Australian Law: the Family Law Act 1975 has been amended no less than thirty four times since its coming into force in February 1976, sometimes extensively; it has been the subject of two reports of Joint Select Committees of the Australian Parliament, in 1980 (Bates, 1980) and 1992 (below). In addition, its operation and administration is under continual scrutiny from two statutory bodies – the Family Law Council (Family Law Act 1975 s115) and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (Family Law Act 1975 Part XIVB).