Prof Frank Bates Presentation of Kirby Seminar

07 January 2014

To honour Justice Michael Kirby, formerly of the High Court of Australia, Professor Frank Bates presented a seminar entitled, "Return, Return O Shulamite': Discharge of Return Orders in Australian Child Abduction Law".

On Monday May 6th, Professor Frank Bates presented a seminar on the series inaugurated to honour Justice Michael Kirby, formerly of the High Court of Australia. The seminar was entitled, "Return, Return O Shulamite': Discharge of Return Orders in Australian Child Abduction Law".

The paper discussed the case law surrounding the unique provision contained in Reg 19A of the Family Law Child Abduction Convention) Regulations 1986, as amended in 2007. The existing case law, notably represented by the decision of Thackray CJ of the Family Court of Western Australia in Soysa v Commissioner Western Australia Police (2012) 46 Fam LR 648. That case law suggests that, presently, the courts (in the rare occasion when the matter has come before them) have adopted a strict approach to its very restrictive provision. It may be that, given Australia's individual situation, that approach may not be the most appropriate approach. In other words, a potentially useful procedure ought not to be permitted to ossify.

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