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Encyclopedia > Family Court of Australia
It has been suggested that Australian family law be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
The Family Court of Australia, Melbourne is housed in the Commonwealth Law Courts Building on the corner of La Trobe Street and William Street.
The Family Court of Australia, Melbourne is housed in the Commonwealth Law Courts Building on the corner of La Trobe Street and William Street.

The Family Court of Australia is a federal Australian court, created by the Family Law Act 1975 as a specialist court dealing with family law matters, established in 1975 as an intiative of the Whitlam government. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Family Law in Australia is primarily contained within the Family Law Act, 1975. ... ImageMetadata File history File links FederalCourtMelbourne. ... ImageMetadata File history File links FederalCourtMelbourne. ... Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia, with a population of approximately 3. ... William St, facing north from Flinders St William St is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ... Family Law in Australia is primarily contained within the Family Law Act, 1975. ... Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (pronounced Goff), Australian politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was the only Australian Prime Minister to be dismissed by the Governor-General. ...


The Court has had three Chief Justices to date, Elizabeth Evatt, Alistair Nicholson and Diana Bryant. Diana Bryant was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 5 July 2004. ...


Jurisdiction

The Family Court of Australia has jurisdiction over all marriage-related cases in Australia, including applications for declarations of the validity or nullity of marriages, divorces, residence, contact , maintenance, child support and property issues. This jurisdiction, granted in the Family Law Act 1975, is a Commonwealth responsibility under the 'matiromonal causes' head of power in Section 51(xxii) of the Australian Constitution. Prior to 1975, jurisdiction over family law matters was held and exercised largely by state Supreme courts under the Matrimonial Causes Act. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (in full, An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia) is the primary constitutional text of the Commonwealth of Australia. ...


The Family Court also has jurisdiction over the children of defacto couples and those that have never lived together. This jurisdiction was acquired by the Commonwealth through an agreement between the states (except West Australia) and the Commonwealth to refer powers. The initial referral referred to custody and access in the breakdown of defacto relationships. A number of states have also referred defacto property issues, however the federal government has not yet legislated in this area. As a result, in all Australian states, financial issues between defacto couples are dealt with by state courts pursuant ot state legislation. Section 51(xxxvii) of the Australian Constitution permits the Commonwealth to legislate on matters referred to the Commonwealth by any state. ...


With the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court (FMC) in 1999, the Family Court now has concurrent jurisdiction in most areas, with the FMC. The majority of proceedings under the Family Law Act are now filed in the FMC. The Federal Magistrates Service in Australia was established by the Federal Magistrates Act 1999 (Cth), although its first officers were not appointed until 2000. ...


Appeals from first instance decisions of the Family Court lie to the Full Court of the Family court. It is possible to appeal to the High Court of Australia, although this requires special leave to appeal from the High Court, or a certificate from the Family Court certifying that the case raises important legal questions or matters of public interest. Few family law cases have obtained special leave to appeal. High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...


External sources

  • Jurisdiction of the Family Court from the Family Court Website
  • Family Law and the Family Court of Australia: Experiences of the First 25 Years - by former Family Court Chief Justice Nicholson and M Harrision in the Melbourne University Law Review

  Results from FactBites:
 
Family Court of Australia (165 words)
The Family Court of Australia was established in 1975, as part of the overhaul of Australian family law, as a special-purpose jurisdiction.
Prior to then, jurisdiction over family law matters was held by the Federal Court of Australia[?], a general-purpose jurisdiction.
Appeal from the Family Court is possible to the High Court of Australia[?], although this requires special leave to appeal from the High Court, or a certificate from the Family Court certifying that the case raises important legal questions or matters of public interest.
Counsel of Perfection: The Family Court in Australia (1569 words)
Family court judges, for example, followed the practice of denying fathers all access to their children following the divorce if the mother simply alleged child sexual abuse.
Under the initial concept, Family Court judges were seen as "helpers" and thus did not wear robes or wigs and did not sit on high benches but at tables with the parties.
The establishment of the Family Court meant that being a federal judge in Australia was no longer as prestigious as it had been when the state judiciary processed divorces.
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