Born in Hope: The Early Years of the Family Court of Australia
1 Jan 2012
The Family Law Act of 1975 and the establishment of the Family Court of Australia the following year aimed to revolutionise the settlement of marital disputes in this country. Gone was the notion of divorce as a spectator sport, salacious media reports of unfaithful spouses and private investigators enlisted to stalk suspicious partners. But the court quickly became the focus of hostility, and many saw it as a failed experiment. Drawing on interviews with judges, lawyers and counsellors, this book challenges that notion of failure. It captures the complexity of the early years as the Family Court grappled with increasing media criticism and acts of violence never before seen in the Australian legal system. This intriguing oral history provides a deeper understanding of the legal institution which arguably impacts on a larger proportion of Australians than any other.