Disrupted Families: The law
OverviewAny publication based on an Australian family law would be misleading if the law were considered stable over a ten year period. This new work takes into account the very different government policy initiatives over the past decade. The development of primary dispute resolution, by both legislation and procedures, has had an important impact on attitudes of both practitioners and clients. It also deals with the effects of these policies in practice, and discusses changes which may be anticipated in the near future. The latter include the pervasive and divergent effects of curtailing public funding, such as the limitations on legal aid and the rise in self representation and delays in the Family Court. Also dealt with is the response of the Family Court itself to these difficulties, in the form of streamlined case management, and adaptation of its non-litigation services to curtailments and pressures. There have been other policy initiatives, such as attempts to encourage focus on children's needs and the establishment of primary dispute functions outside the Court. The latter include mediation and some counselling services. The establishment of an independent summary jurisdiction of Federal and Magistrates' Courts is discussed in the book, and which, if adopted in their proposed form, will make a considerable difference to clients and practitioners. The aim of the book is to meet changing professional needs in the family law context which prevails at the beginning of the 21st century. Given the breadth of the task and the limitations of a single book, footnotes are used to provide information about available background reading, as well as current research and analysis. Disrupted Families is the successor to Lawyers, Social Workers and Families. Review of Lawyers, Social Workers and Families in the Australian Law Librarians Newsletter: " ... an extremely readable and useful text for anyone working at the interface between law and social work."