Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 Exposure Draft
16 March 2023
The Law Council recently made a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 and accompanying Consultation Paper. This submission was heavily informed by the Law Council’s Family Law Section in addition to many Constituent Bodies, and the Law Council is grateful for each contribution.
In its submission, the Law Council supports, at least in principle, most of the changes to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that are proposed in the draft bill and makes various observations and suggestions in relation to the drafting of the provisions and potential practical implications of the changes.
Beyond responding to each consultation question, the submission reiterates the need to ensure that resourcing follows reform, particularly as several of the proposed reforms may have significant funding implications for legal assistance organisations. The submission also emphasises that the implementation of these reforms must correspond with a sustained increase in resourcing across the family law system to ensure that the funding pressures facing the legal assistance sector are not exacerbated.
The Law Council will monitor the progress of the proposed ‘first tranche’ of family law reforms and will continue to closely engage with the Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Government during this process, including by consulting further as required and drawing upon its previous submissions. It is expected that the finalised bill will be introduced to Parliament shortly, where it is likely to be referred to a Senate Committee for inquiry.