Credit points: 15

Subject outline

The focus of this subject is Australian Family Law. The role of the state and of traditional legal forms in the regulation, maintenance and control of family and personal relationships is covered. The impact of the changing role of women and men in the family, as well as increasing family diversity, are considered. Specific issues canvassed include the legal regulation of family formation and breakdown; the financial consequences of family formation and breakdown; parental responsibility and children's rights. This subject aims to provide students with an overview of the key issues in contemporary family law in Australia, as well as opportunities for critical analysis of the policies that underlie it.

SchoolLa Trobe Law School

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorFiona Kelly

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites LAW5CNB


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAustralian Family Law: The Contemporary ContextPrescribedBelinda Fehlberg, Rae Kaspiew, Jenni Millbank, Fiona Kelly & Juliet BehrensOxford University Press

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Develop an awareness and capacity to critically analyse the key issues in contemporary Australian Family Law.

Class exercises; policy essay; take home examination.

02. Develop detailed knowledge of the legal framework which regulates the responsibilities, rights and duties of family members in Australia, and of the socio-legal factors that this legal framework

Class exercises; policy essay; take home examination.

03. Develop high level skills in legal analysis and reasoning and improve legal problem solving skills in relation to family law problems.

Class exercises; take home exam

04. Clearly communicate complex legal concepts and doctrines in a relevant and succinct way.

Take home exam

05. Critically analyse the historical, social, economic and cultural context in which family law decision-making arises.

Policy essay; class exercises

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

City Campus, 2018, Winter semester, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorFiona Kelly

Class requirements

Lecture/Seminar Week: 27 - 28
Four 7.0 hours lecture/seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 27 to week 28 and delivered via face-to-face.
"2-3 and 9-10 July 10am-5pm"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Policy essay (1500 word equivalent)30 01, 02, 05
Take home examination (4000 word equivalent)70 01, 02, 03, 04