Australian Human Rights Centre
The Australian Human Rights Centre is a Research Institute based in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales established to:

  • Increase public awareness about human rights procedures, standards and issues within the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Provide accessible information on human rights to the general public, NGOs, government departments, human rights advocates, community legal centres, journalists, educators, researchers and students;
  • Undertake human rights research on matters of national and regional interest; and
  • Maintain a comprehensive collection of human rights documentation, provide an on-line database service, undertake research and prepare publications, organise human rights educational activities and, within available resources, respond to requests for advice in the area of human rights.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was formed on 6 November 1995 by the merger of the Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority. An independent statutory authority, the Commission administers the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Prices Surveillance Act 1983 and has additional responsibilities under other legislation. The Commission's consumer protection work complements that of State and Territory consumer affairs agencies, which administer the mirror legislation of their jurisdictions, and the Consumer Affairs Division of Treasury.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies
The Institute was established under Part XIVA of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The functions of the Institute are:

(a) to promote, by the conduct, encouragement and co-ordination of research and other appropriate means, the identification of, and development of understanding of, the factors affecting marital and family stability in Australia , with the object of promoting the protection of the family as the natural and fundamental group unit in society; and

(b) to advise and assist the Minister in relation to the making of grants, and with the approval of the Minister to make grants, out of moneys available under appropriations made by the Parliament, for purposes related to the functions of the Institute and the supervising of the employment of grants so made.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies regularly reports on its research findings and also on developments in family law and the Family Court of Australia in its quarterly publication Family Matters. The AIFS website provides a range of information including abstracts of recent articles on the family and links to useful sites.

The Australian Law Reform Commission
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) was established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1973 (Cth). The functions of the Commission include:

  • to review laws with a view to the systematic development and reform of the law, including its modernisation and simplification, and the elimination of defects,
  • to consider proposals for the making of laws,
  • to consider proposals for uniformity of laws, and
  • to make reports to the Attorney-General.

The ALRC conducts research, and holds hearings into, the wide range of matters which are referred. Its publications include issues papers, discussion papers and reports. Public comment and submissions from interested parties and groups are invited and encouraged.

Some areas into which the ALRC has inquired which are of relevance to family law are:

  • matrimonial property
  • multiculturalism and the law
  • child welfare
  • contempt
  • children and the legal system
  • the adversarial system and family law

Child Support Agency
The Child Support Agency (CSA) was developed in 1988 to assist separated parents to take responsibility for the financial support of their children. CSA consists of more than 2500 staff around the country assisting around 1,000,000 Australian parents. This CSA web site provides clients with access to the latest forms, publications, brochures, leaflets and other information on CSA issues, in an immediate, user-friendly way.

Consumer Affairs in Australia
The Australian Department of the Treasury is responsible for consumer affairs policy at the Commonwealth level. The objective of the Consumer Affairs Division of the Treasury is to support and advance consumer and business interests in a well-functioning marketplace. It promotes consumer sovereignty and the key elements of consumer sovereignty - protection, choice, information and redress. The main functions of the Consumer Affairs Division are currently:

  • consumer protection law reform;
  • consumer education and information;
  • electronic commerce policy and consumer protection;
  • industry self-regulation, including codes of conduct alternative dispute resolution;
  • product safety and product information standards;
  • consumer representation; and
  • coordinating Australia's consumer policy position on international issues

The Family Law Council

a statutory authority established under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)

advises and make recommendations to the Attorney-General, on:

  • the working of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and other legislation relating to family law;
  • the working of legal aid in relation to family law; and
  • any other matter relating to family law.

conducts research and its publications include discussion papers, reports, and working papers. Some areas of investigation include:

  • patterns of parenting
  • sterilisation
  • medical procedures on children
  • female genital mutilation
  • spousal maintenance
  • the operation of the Children Act 1989 (UK) and its relevance to proposed reforms to Australian family law
  • appropriate means of enforcing child contact orders
  • family violence

Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission administers federal legislation in the area of human rights, anti-discrimination, social justice and privacy. This includes complaint-handling, public inquiries, policy development and education and training.Australian Financial Security Authority
The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) (formerly the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA)) is a division of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. AFSA is responsible for personal bankruptcy and insolvency law and practice. The outcome we strive for is public confidence in the personal insolvency system. AFSA is not responsible for company insolvency law and practice (which is the responsibility of the Australian Securities Commission).

International Child Abduction: Official Australian Website
The Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department is the Australian Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Convention can assist parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to, or retained in, a Convention country, or whose contact or access with a child in a Convention country has broken down.

Related Information