Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Law in Encouraging Cooperation and Resolving Conflict in Regard to Contemporary Issues Concerning Family Law

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Neglect and abuse towards children is a controversial contemporary issue in today’s society as the perceptions regarding the care and protection of children are constantly shifting. However the main purpose of the law remains “the best interests of the child”. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) defines family violence as “any action or threat of violence by one family member against another, including witnessing that action or threat, that causes fear or apprehension about personal safety”. The amendments to the Act endeavoured to ensure that children are protected from both direct harm and from harm resulting from exposure to family violence. The presumption of equal shared parental responsibility does not apply if there is a risk of child abuse or family violence. The issue of neglect and abuse of children is a State issue and is a criminal offence under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) and the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The penalty is either imprisonment of a fine of up to $22,000. Neglect is the continued failure of a parent to provide a child with the basic things needed for proper growth and development such as food and medical care. Internationally, the main convention regarding children is CROC. This convention recognises the fact that children, because of their vulnerability, need special care and protection and it places special emphasis on the primary caring and protective responsibility of the family. Under international law, CROC states that persons under the age of 18 must be protected from violence, discrimination, exploitation and neglect. The care and protection of children are no longer matters for parents to decide. Children have greater rights and awareness. This is evident in the case of Marion in 1991. Marion’s parents had applied to the family court for authorisation to permit their daughter to have a hysterectomy on the belief that it would relieve the stress of menstruation and effects of the hormones on her...
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