6th World Congress on Family Law & Children’s Rights


Children and family violence: 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights

Family violence and its impact on children is a key focus of a major international conference on family law and children’s rights in Sydney, starting this weekend (17-20 March).

International experts will discuss complex issues such as breaking the intergenerational family violence cycle, state removal of children, how court generated conflict harms children and the biological effects of high conflict on children’s brains at the6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights.

The conference includes sessions on family violence related issues from members of the judiciary, youth support organisations and government agencies.

In a thought provoking paper to be delivered by Chief Federal Magistrate John Pascoe AO CVO, His Honour will address the wide-ranging impact and the consequences of maltreatment of children. His Honour will also provide a perspective from the Federal Magistrates Court which deals with the vast majority of family law matters in Australia.

In considering the impact of child neglect and abuse Chief Federal Magistrate Pascoe said,

“A failure to prevent or respond appropriately to child abuse and neglect leads not only to considerable costs to the child, but also costs to the community as a whole. To date,

I do not think it is a hyperbole to say that as a nation we have been failing our young

people on this issue. The consequences of failure are seen in the justice system, the

hospitals and other related services. This is simply unacceptable. It is surely time to

take some affirmative action. Governments, non-government organisations and

professionals need to assist in raising awareness amongst the community and provide


Chief Federal Magistrate Pascoe has stated that the World Congress is a unique opportunity for those who are involved in the rights and protection of children, to come together and learn from others who are leading international experts in this field.

Other key family violence sessions at the 6th World Congress include:

  • Cases of intergenerational state removal of children: successful interventions to break the cycle
  • Biological effects of high conflict on children:
  • Court generated conflict and its impact on children:
  • Toxic impact of violence on a child’s brain: how children’s brains are impacted by toxic environments
  • Child Neglect Syndrome: evidence that children who witness violence become adult victims or violators

Key speakers and contributors at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights are The Hon Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO, Family Court of Australia; Moira Kelly AO, Director of Children First Foundation; Lord Justice Sir Mathew Thorpe, Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales; Commissioner Tony Negus, Australian Federal Police; Professor Janet A Walker, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University (UK); Dr Hugo Gold, Chairman RCH Clinical Advisory Board; Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO The Alannah and Madeline Foundation; Dr Helen Durham, Adviser, International Law, Australian Red Cross; Lynn Gillam, Associate Professor in Health Ethics, Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne.

Patron of the Congress for 2013 is Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

A full program is available online at:  http://www.wcflcr2013.com/

For further information contact: Jacob O’Shaughnessy 0413 440 699 or 02 9926 0288