The role of social science research in contemporary family law

The role of social science research in contemporary family law

Zoe Rathus AM and Lawrie Moloney

This webinar explored the influence of social science research in shaping family law policy, and its place in law implementation and decision-making.

This webinar was held on 8 August 2013.

This webinar - presented by Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange and the Victorian Family Law Pathways Network - featured a lively discussion between Ms Zoe Rathus AM (Griffith University Law School) and Professor Lawrie Moloney (Australian Institute of Family Studies) about the role of social science research and knowledge in contemporary family law.

In this webinar, Zoe Rathus AM and Professor Lawrie Moloney explored the influence of social science research in shaping family law policy, particularly aspects of the 2006 shared care legislation and the 2012 family violence amendments.

The presenters also interrogated the place of social science research in family law implementation and decision-making by professionals in the family law system, including:

  • judges;
  • lawyers;
  • family dispute resolution practitioners;
  • family consultants;
  • and counsellors.


The feature image is by umjanedoan, CC BY 2.0.

About the presenters

Zoe Rathus AM

Zoe Rathus AM s a senior lecturer in law at Griffith University. Her research is mainly in family law with a focus on gender issues and domestic and family violence. Ms Rathus worked in private practice and at the Women’s Legal Service in Brisbane for over 20 years before entering academia. She has served on the Queensland Domestic Violence Council, the Taskforce on Women and the Criminal Code, the Board of Legal Aid Queensland and a number of management committees. Between 1995 and 1998 she worked extensively in South Africa on gender issues. Zoe was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011 for her services to women, the law and education.

Lawrie Moloney

Professor Lawrie Moloney is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at La Trobe University. He is a registered psychologist, family mediator and family therapist. Having served as a Director of family court counselling in the early years of the Family Court of Australia, Lawrie then spent 24 years in the university sector, mainly teaching counselling and counselling psychology. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Family Studies and has authored more than 200 publications, many related to children, parenting and divorce.

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