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Family Violence and Aboriginality

The Mother's appeal was allowed and each of the judges of the Full Court bench (Kay, Warnick and Strickland JJ) gave three different judgements

Monday, 27 August, 2007

Sitting in Darwin, the Full Court of the Family Court has dealt with a case involving the determination of a parenting application regarding indigenous Australian children.

In M and L (Aboriginal Culture)(2007) FLC 93-320, an appeal was made by a mother against a parenting order of a Federal Magistrate which provided that the children live with the father and his family in the north eastern region of the Northern Territory and have an opportunity to spend as much time as possible with the mother and her family on the outskirts of a small town located east of Darwin. The parties were of different indigenous cultures and communities.

The children had primarily lived with the mother prior to the making of the orders and the father had a history of alcohol consumption and violence. Issues of the primacy of the mother's care and the admissions that it had been entirely satisfactory were overlooked in favour of the theory that the children would be best off if they were fully immersed in their father's culture. The appeal was allowed and each of the judges of the Full Court bench (Kay, Warnick and Strickland JJ) gave three different judgements.
 

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