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Family Matters No. 59 - June 2001

Family law - Researching the Family Law Reform Act: A case of selective attention?

Abstract

In this article, the author reviews a major report on the operation of the first three years of the Family Law Reform Act 1995 by Helen Rhoades, Reg Graycar and Margaret Harrison, the summary of which was published in the previous edition of Family Matters (no.58). He summarises and reviews the authors' assessment of the social pressures that led to the Reform Act, the research methodology and sampling procedures employed by the authors to determine the extent to which the aims of the Act have been met, and the authors' summary of the results. This is followed by a response from the report's authors, in which they comment on the criticisms of their research, focusing particularly on their methodology and the implication that it lacks rigour.

In this article, the author reviews a major report on the operation of the first three years of the Family Law Reform Act 1995 by Helen Rhoades, Reg Graycar and Margaret Harrison, the summary of which was published in the previous edition of Family Matters (no.58). He summarises and reviews the authors' assessment of the social pressures that led to the Reform Act, the research methodology and sampling procedures employed by the authors to determine the extent to which the aims of the Act have been met, and the authors' summary of the results. This is followed by a response from the report's authors, in which they comment on the criticisms of their research, focusing particularly on their methodology and the implication that it lacks rigour.

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