Legal Studies Effectiveness Key Issues

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Assess the effectiveness of the legal system’s attempts to protect the rights of same-sex couples

The Legal System has been relatively effective in protecting the rights of same sex couples when approaching the legal issues of equality, enforceability and protection and recognition of individual rights.

As society evolves it grows in diversity and acceptance to which regard the legal system must change to better serve societies needs and values. With reference to this the legal system’s approaches to protect and recognise the rights of same sex couples in relation to same-sex marriage has proven to be ineffective. Whilst there has been reform through the Corbett v Corbett 1970 (One of the couple had undergone a sex change operation so the courts reformed the sex requirement from birth certificate to the sex of the couple during the marriage) there is still little improvement in protecting and recognising the rights of same sex couples. Government in NSW moved to legalise same-sex marriage in 2002 but this was shelfed after the influences of pressure from powerful religious political figures. As if to reinstate the governments support for heterosexual marriage the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 (CWLTH) was passed defining marriage once again between man and woman. After the results of the 2011 census it showed 96% of same sex couples were in a de-facto relationship and the legal system has not protected and recognised their rights as Individuals to marriage.

Although the Legal System has yet to reform same-sex marriage the Legal system’s approach to same-sex adoption has comparatively been effective. Adoption for same-sex couples has been available since 2010 in NSW. Australia’s first legal gay adoption took place in western Australia June 2007 but the federal government under Prime Minister John Howard moved to pass a legislation not to recognise adoptions taken place overseas by same-sex couples. The Adoption Act 2000 provided equality in adoption in...
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