Cases – Family Law – LibGuides at University of Melbourne
Family Law: Cases
A research guide on Family Law in Australia.
Federal Courts Building – Melbourne
Source: Judicial Conference of Australia
Recent cases – summaries
For summaries of recent cases, use CCH Online – scroll to AustralianCommonwealth Courts and Family Law Tracker. The case summaries provide snapshots of reasons for judgments of cases recently handed down by the Family Court of Australia.
- CCH Online – Australia*IntelliConnect is CCH’s online platform which delivers full text access to CCH Australia’s publications combined with advanced research tools. The publications include loose-leaf services, law reports and books.
Recent cases from Family Court of Australia (FamCA & FamCAFC)
(courtesy of BarNet Jade)
- MERRITT & MERRITT  FamCA 694 (12 September 2017) (Forrest J) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – CHILD ABUSE – Magellan – Best interests – Where there are allegations that the father sexually abused the parties’ daughter – Where the child has made disclosures about the father – Where the father denies any sexual abuse – Whether the father presents an unacceptable risk – Where an order is made that the father spend no time with the children.Sep 14, 2017
- SKEATES & SKEATES  FamCA 696 (11 September 2017) (Gill J) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Interim proceeding – distribution of funds Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 ss 72, 79 and 117Sep 14, 2017
- HAMZA & RABI  FamCA 695 (11 September 2017) (Gill J) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – ORDERS – consent orders refused by Registrar – whether consent orders just and equitable – where consent orders fall within broad range of what is just and equitableSep 14, 2017
- HADFIELD & HARRIS AND ANOR  FamCA 693 (11 September 2017) (Cronin J) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – PARENTING ORDERS – where all previous orders were discharged by agreement – where the Independent Children’s Lawyer and the Department of Health and Human Services (as amicus curiae) did not oppose the orders sought between the parties – where it was imperative from both parties’ perspective that the children be enrolled in school after being absent as a result of their dispute – where…Sep 14, 2017
- LANDY & BARTELS  FamCA 690 (08 September 2017) (Benjamin J) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Application by mother seeking parenting orders – With whom a child lives – With whom a child spends time – With whom a child communicates – Whether there should be an order for joint parental responsibility – Allegations that children are at an unacceptable risk of abuse in the unsupervised care of the father – Orders by consent that the eldest child live with the mother – Order by…Sep 14, 2017
Family Court of Australia Bulletins
Family Court Bulletins are published in July and December each year and include summaries of important decisions.
Recent decisions from Federal Circuit Court
(courtesy of BarNet Jade)
- BLJ16 v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & ANOR  FCCA 2278 (19 September 2017) (Judge A Kelly) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: MIGRATION – Protection visa application – applicant is son of devout Hindu parents – fears of harm by reason of intolerance for applicant’s Australian lifestyle and his association with non-Hindu persons – applicant fails to attend Departmental interview – Tribunal decision to affirm delegate’s decision refusing application grounded on adverse credibility findings, no risk of harm and delay in making application…Sep 19, 2017
- BCD16 v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & ANOR  FCCA 1914 (19 September 2017) (Judge Driver) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: MIGRATION – Review of Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision – refusal of a protection visa – applicant claiming a fear of harm in Sri Lanka – applicant disbelieved in significant respects and other fears found not to be well-founded – whether the Tribunal overlooked a claim or asked itself the wrong question, failed to consider corroborative evidence or breached s.425 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) considered – no…Sep 19, 2017
- SZWBV v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & ANOR  FCCA 1924 (18 September 2017) (Judge Driver) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: MIGRATION – Review of Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision – refusal of a protection visa – applicant claiming a fear of harm in Sri Lanka – applicant disbelieved in significant respects and other fears found not to be well-founded – whether the Tribunal erred in its complementary protection assessment concerning the intentional infliction of harm, or whether the Tribunal erred in asking itself the wrong question or…Sep 18, 2017
- WARWICK & ANOR & BARRE  FCCA 2258 (15 September 2017) (Judge Bender) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: FAMILY LAW – Property – Notices of Objection filed by the de facto Wife and her former solicitors in relation to a subpoena issued to the former solicitors by the de facto Husband – whether the de facto Wife has impliedly waived her right to legal professional privilege by conduct inconsistent with the maintenance of that privilege. HELD – The de facto Wife has not impliedly waived legal professional privilege – the documents…Sep 18, 2017
- COLE v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & ANOR  FCCA 2234 (14 September 2017) (Judge Antoni Lucev) This link opens in a new windowSee help textCatchwords: MIGRATION – Judicial review – decision of former Migration Review Tribunal – Child (Residence) (Class BT) visa – whether relevant regulation misconstrued – whether correct test applied in relation to capacity for work – whether misconstruction or failure to consider satisfaction of relevant criteria – whether jurisdictional error. STATUTES – Interpretation – principles. WORDS AND PHRASES –…Sep 17, 2017
The two main series of specialist family law reports in Australia are:
- Australian Family Law Cases (FLC) published by CCH
- Family Law Reports (Fam LR) published by Lexis
Sometimes the same case is reported in both series.
It is important to note that the above two report series are not authorised – to ascertain whether your case is in an authorised report, check the case name in LexisNexis AU on the Cases tab.
For example the recent High Court of Australia case MRR v GR was located in CCH – on this database the link to the full text is to the Australian Family Law Cases (FLC) – the CCH report series. Checking the name in LexisNexis AU provided the following parallel citations: (2010) 240 CLR 461; (2010) 263 ALR 368; (2010) 84 ALJR 220; (2010) 42 Fam LR 531; (2010) FLC ¶93-424;  HCA 4; BC201000969 – in this case the authorised report series is the Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) and this is what should be cited and pinpointed in discussion.
For a list of authorised report series, see the Authorised Law Reports Research Guide.
Cases will appear much faster in unreported versions eg: on AustLII and the court websites. In our example of MRR v GR above, the decision would have appeared on the High Court’s website and AustLII within a day of being handed down. Relevant websites include:
TIP: AustLII has more recent decisions than are available on the court websites; however the pdfs of the cases on the court websites are the ‘official’ certified copy of the unreported decisions.
- High Court of Australia 1903 +
- Family Court of Australia 1982 +
- Family Court of Australia Full Court 2008 +
- Federal Magistrates Court – Family Law Decisions 2000 -2013
- Federal Circuit Court of Australia 2013
*Note: Federal Magistrates Court changed its name to Federal Circuit Court of Australia in April 2013
The High Court website provides very useful Judgment Summaries and High Court Bulletins, published very quickly (usually the same day) as the judgment – use the Publications tab to find these. The judgments link takes you to full text of the unreported judgments are on AustLII. Other useful websites with judgments:
- Family Court of Australia (FCA) website – first instance judgments are available for one month and full court (appeals) judgments are available for two months.
- Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCCA) website – contains significant and new judgments.
- Family law courts website
Further information on the differences between different versions of cases and the importance of using one in preference to another is contained in the Australian Cases LibGuide
See also AGLC3 which provides relevant citation rules.
Journal articles on a case
Use the following to find journal articles on cases:
- AGIS Plus Text (Informit)Type the casename into the searchbox and select the Legal Cases field eg: “MRR v GR” (UniMelb access)