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Family Court Review

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The Family Court of Australia was born in an era of optimism in family law in the Westernized countries and at a time of great change in their political and social life. Traditional views of marriage and divorce and gender roles were in flux, and new institutions were needed to cope with the results. The resulting social upheaval sparked strong passions. The no-fault divorce legislation to which the creation of the Family Court of Australia was tied paqsed the Australian House of Representatives by a small margin on a conscience (nonparty) vote. Though a larger majority created the court itself, the controversy at the time of birth foreshadowed a challenging future for the new institution. Its early history was scarred by horrible violence. Political scrutiny and budgetary battles have resulted in continuous changes and developments in substantive law and judicial administration.