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President's Paws / Update From Bettina Arndt Wed 18 April 2018
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 09:39:29 PM »
FROM: Bettina Arndt 18 April 2018

Hello Everyone,

Why on earth would universities choose to get involved in the messy business of determining which story to believe in a date rape case involving two students?  UTS in Sydney now has a committee of staff and students conducting investigations and recommending punishments for accused students.

The university has caved in to demands from activists and is foolishly blundering into legal territory potentially undermining proper process in what could be serious criminal matters.

For the past eight months I’ve been supporting a PhD student at Adelaide University under investigation by a similar committee after being accused of sexual assault by another student. The committee had no idea what they were doing, failing to even provide the student with full details of the accusation. I found a criminal barrister to advise the young man on how to handle the ham-fisted efforts of the committee to force him to comply with the investigation. Scary stuff for the young man given that the committee had the power to recommend the university withhold his degree.

The university ended up dropping the case and backtracking madly when the Uni’s General Counsel realized the committee was at risk of denying basic legal rights to the male student.

I’ve made a YouTube video talking to the young man about his harrowing ordeal.

I think you may find it fascinating. I hope you will help me circulate it – this is a very worrying development in our universities.

The Adelaide Advertiser is publishing a news story about all this tomorrow and an opinion piece from me. Plus I am on The Outsiders on Sky News tomorrow night with my good friends Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. I will also attach a feature to be published in Spectator Australia on Friday, which gives international context to what’s happening.

So that’s this week’s video effort. You may have noticed we posted a video from my Sky News interview with Laura Jaye. That was good fun but boy, was it hard to get the ball tampering story out there. Such reluctance to talk about men’s dangly bits!

I also want to mention The Friedman Liberty Conference, May 25-27. . This is a rare opportunity for people to get together and discuss free speech issues, including the male-bashing territory that interests me most. I’ll be speaking at the conference and hope to see many of you there. If you are booking in you can quote this Discount Code: arndt18 for a 10% discount.

I’ve been talking to the people from IPA who are doing such good work on campus freedom issues and we are considering having an informal get-together at the conference of everyone who is keen to get active promoting free speech on campuses and finding ways to take on the ideologs controlling our universities. We will announce details at the conference. 

I’ve been asked to give details of other public events where I am speaking so I thought I’d also mention a talk at the Australian Institute for Progress event in Brisbane on Wednesday, May 2. See details here: If you enter BABRIS in the “Enter Promotional Code” field you will get a cheaper deal.  It would be fun to catch up with some of our Brisbane people.

Cheers, Tina

Self-Fulfilling Fakery: Feigning Mental Illness Is a Form of Self-Deception
By pretending to be sick, people can convince themselves they really are

People who fake symptoms of mental illness can convince themselves that they genuinely have those symptoms, a new study suggests. People will also adopt and justify signs of illness that they never reported themselves when presented with manipulated answers, according to the study published online July 9 in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. Not only do the findings demonstrate that deliberately feigning illness can evolve into an unconscious embellishment of symptoms, they indicate that self-perception of mental health is susceptible to suggestion. The study has particularly serious implications for cases in which people fake mental illness to take advantage of the legal system.

"This study shows a couple ways people come to believe they have troubles they wouldn't otherwise endorse," says Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, renowned for her research on misinformation and false memories. "One way is to give them misinformation about what they reported before, but this study shows yet another kind of suggestion, which is to induce people to, in essence, lie. And it leaves them with a residual effect to keep doing so. Once you get people to report a particular symptom, like 'I have a little trouble concentrating,' even if they would never say that on their own, you turn them into someone who later on says they do have trouble concentrating."

In the new study psychologist Harald Merckelbach and colleagues at Maastricht University in the Netherlands first asked 31 undergraduates to read a story about a criminal defendant who had trespassed on a medieval building, dislodged some stones that fatally wounded a young girl, and received a charge of manslaughter. The experimenters told all participants to pretend they were the defendant in the story and complete a 75-item true-or-false self-report survey of mental health called the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS). The SIMS includes "very bizarre and extreme symptoms that most real patients would not endorse," Merckelbach says, such as hearing ever-present voices or the sensation of 1,000-kilogram weights attached to one's legs. The researchers asked one subset of the subjects to fill out the survey honestly, instructing the rest to exaggerate their symptoms in hopes of feigning a mental illness and minimizing criminal responsibility.

Once the undergraduates had completed the survey, they were asked to spend an hour on games and tasks like sudoku puzzles before completing the SIMS once again. This time, the researchers instructed both subgroups to fill out the survey honestly (although still playing the role of defendant): participants who had feigned illness were told that they had been detected as fakers and needed to complete the survey with truthful answers; the other group was told that sometimes people change their minds about their symptoms and so they should fill out the SIMS again. The group that initially reported their symptoms honestly hardly changed their answers. But the mental illness pretenders continued to exaggerate their symptoms, despite the request for sincerity.

In a second experiment the researchers asked a group of 28 different undergrads to complete the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90)—a 90-item self-report survey of general psychiatric stress, including difficulty concentrating, social anxiety, depression, sadness and panic attacks as well as somatic symptoms like headaches. Participants rated how frequently they experienced each item using a five-point scale, where 0 meant "not at all," 2 meant "occasionally" and 4 meant "all the time".

Once more, the experimenters had undergrads busy themselves with sudoku puzzles after completing the survey—but this time the researchers secretly changed some of the participants' answers while they were distracted. Specifically, the researchers manipulated two items: one about concentration difficulties and another about social anxiety, increasing low scores by two scale points or decreasing scores by two points if the participant had circled a 3 ("a lot") or 4.

Then the experimenters returned the answer sheets to the undergraduates and asked them to explain their scores on 10 items, including the two tweaked answers. Fifty-seven percent of the subjects failed to notice both manipulated answers, and more than two thirds of the subjects justified scores they had never actually reported. For example, if the researchers had switched a participant's original score on concentration difficulties from 0 to 2, the participant would explain the answer by citing an excess of coffee or anxiety about exams. The experimenters subsequently provided the participants with an abbreviated 30-item version of SCL-90 and found that on the second time around people who had justified their manipulated answers filled out the SCL-90 in the direction of the manipulation. Although this shift was statistically significant, Merckelbach and his colleagues would like to independently confirm it with more research, they noted in their study.

"If you play the role of having a disease, then at some point the symptoms may become very real to you," Merckelbach says, adding that the progression from purposefully faking symptoms to truly believing them could be exacerbated by doctor–patient relationships. "For example, when you talk about whiplash or chronic fatigue disorder, you can imagine a patient who starts out playing these symptoms, but when he is asked by a physician, 'Do you also have this or that?' and the questions are posed over and over again, the patient may lose sight of the fact the they are playing a role."

Loftus thinks the new study also shows how people can delude themselves. "The second experiment is more like the misinformation experiments I have done," Loftus said, referring to studies in which intentionally manipulative questions affected people's memory of footage from a car accident. "They don't know they are being deceived. But this study shows you can deceive yourself, too. In the first experiment, they [the participants] know they are deliberately faking. It's like a lie—a kind of a lie. But later on, they don't stop lying, even though they know they don't need to. They've deceived themselves."

Both Merckelbach and Loftus think the recent study is particularly relevant to malingering in legal procedures—when people feign illness or injury for a specific personal gain, like decreased criminal responsibility or increased financial compensation. Merckelbach drew inspiration for the study from the 20th-century Russian playwright Leonid Andreyev's The Dilemma, in which a character who malingers a disease eventually develops the symptoms that he faked. "Andreyev was the first to describe this phenomenon, and he was a court reporter," Merckelbach says. "He may have seen it with his own eyes."

Faking illness to benefit oneself can actually be a form of self-harm, Loftus says. "In some ways this is suggesting that when people get into litigation and have a motivation to act somewhat more injured than they really are to get a better settlement, they are actually harming themselves by pretending. They're becoming delusional."

Merckelbach agreed, pointing out that malingering could affect how defendants remember events as well. "A lot of perpetrators who are arrested by the police claim amnesia: Their genuine memory for the crime is undermined by faking of memory loss," he says.

"The whole area of malingering research is booming right now," Merckelbach adds, "with new instruments and tests to detect malingerers—almost an epidemic of tools and tests and tactics. I think what this study shows is that people can stick to the role of the malingerer, even when instructed to be honest. If you really want to screen malingerers, you need a test that accounts for both the intentional and unintentional components. It's not enough to have a simple self-report list because you don't know whether the person is really faking or deceiving themselves."

Loftus also sees therapeutic potential in the new study, musing on a hypothetical strategy she calls "feigning good," which could motivate patients by helping them believe in improved cognitive skills and diminished symptoms of illness. "Should clinicians be prescribing a form of feigning? You wouldn't want patients to feign anxiety, but maybe they could feign the opposite. Maybe they could feign crystal clear concentration," Loftus says.

Merckelbach thinks the idea is fascinating. "The whole idea is new to me," he says, "I didn't think of it myself…. But if it could be applied in a more therapeutic way, it might be worth doing some experiments on that."


Ferris Jabr is a contributing writer for Scientific American. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker and Outside.

General Discussion Law / Insanity defense
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
Insanity defense

The insanity defense, also known as the mental disorder defense, is a defense by excuse in a criminal case, arguing that the defendant is not responsible for his or her actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act. This is contrasted with an excuse of provocation, in which defendant is responsible, but the responsibility is lessened due to a temporary mental state.[1]:613 It is also contrasted with a finding that a defendant cannot stand trial in a criminal case because a mental disease prevents him or her from effectively assisting counsel, from a civil finding in trusts and estates where a will is nullified because it was made when a mental disorder prevented a testator from recognizing the natural objects of their bounty, and from involuntary civil commitment to a mental institution, when anyone is found to be gravely disabled or to be a danger to themselves or to others.[1]:613

Exemption from full criminal punishment on such grounds dates back to at least the Code of Hammurabi.[2] Legal definitions of insanity or mental disorder are varied, and include the M'Naghten Rule, the Durham rule, the 1953 British Royal Commission on Capital Punishment report, the ALI rule (American Legal Institute Model Penal Code rule), and other provisions, often relating to a lack of mens rea ("guilty mind").[1]:613–635[3] In the criminal laws of Australia and Canada, statutory legislation enshrines the M'Naghten Rules, with the terms defense of mental disorder, defense of mental illness or not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder employed. Being incapable of distinguishing right from wrong is one basis for being found to be legally insane as a criminal defense.[1] It originated in the M'Naghten Rule, and has been reinterpreted and modernized through more recent cases, such as People v. Serravo.[1]:615–625

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States, use of the defense is rare;[4] however, since the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991,[5] insanity pleas have steadily increased in the UK.[6] Mitigating factors, including things not eligible for the insanity defense such as intoxication[7] (or, more frequently, diminished capacity), may lead to reduced charges or reduced sentences.

The defense is based on evaluations by forensic mental health professionals with the appropriate test according to the jurisdiction. Their testimony guides the jury, but they are not allowed to testify to the accused's criminal responsibility, as this is a matter for the jury to decide. Similarly, mental health practitioners are restrained from making a judgment on the issue of whether the defendant is or is not insane or what is known as the "ultimate issue".[8]

Some jurisdictions require the evaluation to address the defendant's ability to control their behavior at the time of the offense (the volitional limb). A defendant claiming the defense is pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity" (NGRI) or "guilty but insane or mentally ill" in some jurisdictions which, if successful, may result in the defendant being committed to a psychiatric facility for an indeterminate period.

General Discussion Law / The mental disorder defence
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 03:23:46 PM »
The mental disorder defence
Sunday 7 June 2015 5:05PM

In 1843 Daniel M'Naghten shot and killed the Prime Minister of England’s private secretary—mistaking him for the Prime Minister. M'Naghten was under the delusion that he was being persecuted by the British government. This story provides the basis of a defence on the grounds of mental disorder in our modern law.

We examine when and how mental impairment influences whether one is found guilty by the legal system and if the symptoms of mental illness are sometimes faked for a better outcome.
General Discussion Law / Citizens Advice Bureau Western Australia
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 11:48:45 AM »
Citizens Advice Bureau Western Australia


To connect people with information and services so they can make independent and informed decisions.

Get Legal Advice

We provide a low-cost legal advice service on a wide range of issues and prepare various simple legal documents. Legal Appointments are available at our Perth head office and our branches throughout Perth metropolitan area and the South West.

Our staff can provide information, referral and simple legal advice on a broad range of issues.
Please note that if our legal appointments are fully booked we can offer appropriate information and referral.

Areas we cover

    Family law – including divorce, children's and property matters
    Consumer law
    Criminal law
    Dividing Fences
    Employment law
    Equal Opportunity law
    Housing and Tenancy
    Insurance law
    Land Sales
    Personal injury (including criminal injuries compensation)
    Property law
    Traffic Accidents
    Workers Compensation


How to book an appointment
To book an appointment at our Perth office, call (08) 9221 5711 between 9:30am-4pm Monday-Friday (excluding Public Holidays).

Appointments with our lawyers last for 20 minutes. There are a limited number of appointments available,  so it’s a good idea to call as early as you can when the lines open. Appointments are released 14 days in advance. We may not always have an appointment available for the area of law that you require - if that's the case, we'll do our best to refer you to someone else who may be able to help you.

Legal appointments are also available in our branches across Western Australia.   For more information, please contact the branch you would like to attend directly. Please note that not all of our services are are available in all of our branches.

We can only make an appointment with the person that will be attending the appointment - we are unable to make appointments on behalf of someone else.

We do not operate a waiting list for appointment cancellations.

If you can't attend your appointment, please cancel it as soon as you can.

2 Hobbs Drive
(08) 9497 5311
Email CAB Armadale

Coordinators - Kerrie Schilling
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans  - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Wednesday & Thursday 10.30am to 1.30pm

1 Stirling Street
(08) 9721 6008
Email CAB Bunbury

Coordinator -  Lou Milordis & Ingrid Franklin
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 1.00pm           
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - by appointment

Unit G4, 19 Cammilleri Street
(08) 9751 1199
Email CAB Busselton

Coordinator - Elena Mauen
Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10.00am to 1.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Service - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

Shop 41, 13 Cantonment Street
(08) 9335 4522
Email CAB Fremantle

Coordinator - Pat Baxter
Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 3.00pm
Friday 9.30am to 2.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Suite 5, Lotteries House
70 Davidson Terrace
(08) 9301 2833
Email CAB Joondalup

Coordinator - Diane Cook
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

2 Robbos Place
Kwinana Town Centre
(08) 9439 1251
Email CAB Kwinana

Coordinator - Kerry Smith
Tuesday Wednesday & Thursday 10.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

Mewburn Centre,
Sholl Street
(08) 9535 3101
Email CAB Mandurah

Coordinator - Philip Gilbey
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.00pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Thursday & Friday 10am to 12noon

23 Old Gt Northern Highway
(08) 9274 3000
Email CAB Midland

Coordinator -  Mary Shaw
Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Friday 9.00 - 1.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Wednesday 10am to 1pm
25 Barrack Street
(08) 9221 5711
Email CAB Perth

CEO - Kathryn Lawrence
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm
Phone hours 9.30am to 4.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
Mediation Service
Justice of the Peace

Room 4,
14 Council Avenue
(08) 9527 6671
Email CAB Rockingham

Coordinator - Max Stewart
Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 3.30pm
Friday 9.30am to 1pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

General Discussion Law / Restraining Orders From Kean Legal
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 11:23:09 AM »
Restraining Orders From Kean Legal

Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO”), Violence Restraining Orders (“VRO”) and Misconduct Restraining Orders (“MRO”).

Restraining orders can be made by the court to protect a person who experienced violence in the family or any form of violence against them. These individuals can also file for a restraining order in the event of threats, harassment, intimidation or any other circumstance that puts the individual at risk or in a dangerous situation. The law in Western Australia changed on 1 July 2017. It is therefore very important to know when the application for a restraining order was made.

Breach in restraining orders is a criminal offence. It is often carries a penalty of a fine or imprisonment. Restraining orders can be differentiated into three types.
Types of Restraining Orders
Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO)

Application for Family Violence Restraining Order can be applied against a person to who you have or had a family relationship. This includes a spouse, ex-spouse, partners, siblings, kin, or any other person you have been involved with in a family-like relationship.

Our lawyers are able to help you with the documents that you need to complete to apply for a violence restraining order. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

Violence Restraining Order (VRO)

Violence restraining orders are for persons who you do not have a family relationship with. These include colleagues, friends, your boss or neighbour. Our lawyers are able to help you with the basic court procedures for a Violence Restraining Order application as well as the documents that you need to complete to apply. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

Misconduct Restraining Order (MRO)

Misconduct Restraining Orders are applied to persons whom you have no family relationship with and are not permitted from doing the following acts:

    Intimidating and offensive actions against the complainant
    Damaging a complainant’s property
    Breeching the peace

Our lawyers are able to help you with the documents that you need to complete to apply for a misconduct restraining order. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

When Does the Magistrate Court Grant a Restraining Order?

The Section 11A of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 stipulates that the Magistrate Court may grant a VRO if the Respondent has committed an act of abuse against the Applicant. A VRO will also granted if in the circumstances the Court see fit to do so. Even though the Act clearly distinguishes “family or domestic violence” and “personal violence” as different circumstances, both include instances wherein there is emotional abuse, and intimidating behaviour against the Applicant.

A VRO is also considered appropriate by the Court if will stop a behaviour or hardship caused by the Respondent for the protection of the Applicant. It is also most likely granted in situations where the well-being of a child or children will be benefitted by the grant for the restraining order.

What Happens When a Restraining Order is Breached?

A VRO will not appear on the criminal record of the Respondent. However, if there is an offence that breaches the terms of the VRO, it is reported to the police and considered as a criminal offence.

Section 61 of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 governs such breaches. Penalties can include Mandatory Imprisonment, fines as well as other orders the court see fit. Call our 24/7 hotline to get advice today: +61 8 6323 8697

In need of legal advice or help in applying for a restraining order or defending a breach? Kean Legal Barristers & Solicitors can help you.
Call our 24/7 hotline to set an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

General Discussion Law / Domestic Violence groups help breach custody orders
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 11:10:20 AM »
Underground networks help parents breach Family Court custody orders
Renee Viellaris | News Corp Australia

CHURCH and domestic violence groups have been accused of aiding underground networks that help parents breach custody orders and go on the run with their children.

Parents, unhappy with Family Court custody decisions, are kidnapping their own children, and are using family, friends and other resources to stay under the radar.

The parents left behind, who are legally entitled to custody of their children, are having to dip into their own pockets to ask the courts to hear their applications for recovery orders.

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Queensland are issuing about three recovery orders a week, with 156 of the "last resort" orders made in the last financial year - the most in the country.

Applications for them are considered urgent, but depending on how busy the court is, orders can take days or weeks to be heard.

Once granted, an order is sent to the Australian Federal Police, which can use state police to help find the children.

It is understood that once a recovery order is made most parents co-operate, however some continue to hide their children from authorities.

The parents hunting for their children can be up against church-associated groups or women's centres, such as domestic violence groups, which can link parents to services that help keep them under the radar.

Family law experts claimed the Family Court was under-resourced and not able to help some parents, while lobby groups said some parents were forced to steal their children because the courts refused to acknowledge domestic violence or sex abuse.

Dan Bottrell of Jones Mitchell Lawyers, Queensland's largest family law firm, said he suspected the large number of recovery orders being made in Queensland was because of southerners seeking tree or sea changes in the state.

Mr Bottrell said once relationships broke down, one parent often wanted to return home to their former state, causing some friction in relation to parenting arrangements.

One parent, who cannot be named by law, claimed a domestic violence group and others had helped a former spouse hide two children from the courts and investigating federal police.

When six officers finally found the children - who had been missing for a month - they had been given new SIM cards for their phones and had access to a number of different computers.

The parent who had illegally taken the children had limited funds at the time.

The aggrieved parent, who applied to the court for a recovery order, was told by the children they had been moved between a number of houses when the AFP were close to finding them.

The offending parent repeatedly denied knowledge of the children's whereabouts to police.

New South Wales Victim Support Unit executive director Robyn Cotterell-Jones said she wouldn't be surprised if some people tried to help hide some children.

"If the courts continue to fail parents' expectations of keeping their children safe, people will be forced to take protective action in which, of course, breaching court orders is regarded as much more unlawful than failing to protect a child," Ms Cotterell-Jones said.

A highly placed source associated with parental disputes acknowledged being told of anecdotal evidence that church groups had also helped some parents.

Griffith University's Clinical Legal Education Program director Zoe Rathus, an expert in family law, said the courts had to deal with complex and emotive issues.

"These are highly discretionary issues, in how people (the courts) understand violence and abuse," Ms Rathus said.

"I do think some of the experts who are used a lot in the courts don't necessarily have the relative expertise in domestic violence."

In a statement, the AFP told The Courier-Mail its role in the family law process was to act on specific orders of the court.

General Discussion Law / Restraining Orders
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 11:02:12 AM »
Restraining Orders (Western Australia)

If someone commits family violence or personal violence towards you, threatens you or your property, harasses or intimidates you and you are concerned that it will continue and put you at risk, you can apply to have a restraining order taken out against them.

A restraining order makes it against the law for that person to come near you or your property. A restraining order also makes it illegal for the person to use other people to contact you or to try other means of contact; for example, SMS, mail or email. These are breaches of the restraining order and the person can be charged by the police with a criminal offence. If this happens the court will deal with the person.

A restraining order is designed to prevent family violence or personal violence and stop threats in the future. It is an order of the court requiring a person to behave in certain ways and the conditions imposed in the order will vary according to the circumstances under which the order is sought.

The 'applicant' is the person applying for a restraining order. The 'respondent' is the person against whom the order is sought.

There are three types of restraining orders:

    family violence restraining order
    violence restraining order and
    misconduct restraining order.

An application for a restraining order can be made by:

    a police officer on behalf of a person or a group
    a person seeking protection
    a parent or guardian of a child and
    a guardian of a person.

Applications for restraining orders can be made at a Magistrates Court or, if the respondent is a juvenile, in the Children’s Court.  If the person seeking to be protected is a child and the respondent is not a child, the application can be made at either the Magistrates Court or the Children's Court. Courts are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

If an urgent order is required to prevent family violence or personal violence, and it is not possible to make an application to the court (e.g. it is outside of court hours or you are in a remote location), police can issue 72 hour police orders or apply for a Telephone Order.

To request that police make an application on your behalf, telephone 131 444. Call 000 for emergencies.

The Family Violence Service or your local Victim Support Service office can help with information regarding taking out a restraining order.

For legal advice or assistance, contact your solicitor, Legal Aid on 1300 650 579, your nearest Community Legal Centre, Aboriginal Legal Service or Women's Legal Service.

General Discussion Law / Same Sex Relationships Perth
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 10:26:47 AM »
Same Sex Relationships Perth

When it comes to property settlement and parenting issues, Australian family courts treat same sex couples no differently to married and de facto couples. The only thing that had previously distinguished same sex couples was the fact they could not marry under the Marriage Act 1961.

On 15 November 2017 the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed Australia’s historic “Yes” vote in the federal government’s same sex marriage survey.

Subsequent to this, the Australian Parliament passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage on 7 December 2017.

This bill took effect on 9 December 2017. As of this date, same-sex couples can lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnization of marriages under the Marriage Act.

The first day same sex couples will be able to get married in Australia is 9 January 2018.

As long-time supporters of marriage equality we are proud that marriage equality has now become enshrined in Australian law.
Same Sex Relationships and De Facto Relationships

People in a same sex relationship who choose not to get married can be considered to be in a de facto relationship, provided that they meet certain criteria.

Australian family courts treat same sex de facto relationships no differently to heterosexual de facto relationships.
What constitutes a same sex de facto relationship?

Section 13A of the Interpretation Act 1984 (WA) sets out the various factors used in determining the existence of a de facto relationship in Western Australia, such as:

    the length of the relationship;
    whether the parties have resided together;
    the degree of financial dependence or interdependence; and
    the degree of mutual commitment by the parties to a shared life.

Section 13A of the Interpretation Act also states that “it does not matter whether the persons are different sexes or the same sex.” The de facto relationships of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are all legally recognised.

Under the Family Court Act 1997 (WA), the Family Court of Western Australia may only make property orders in relation to a de facto relationship if:

    the parties have lived together in a de facto relationship for at least two years; or
    there is a child of the relationship under 18; or
    a party has made substantial contributions and failure to make property orders would result in serious injustice to that party.

Am I entitled to anything if my same sex relationship breaks down?

If your relationship meets the criteria for a de facto relationship, then the Family Court of Western Australia can make property orders, including orders on your entitlements.

Property settlement in a same sex separation is treated the same as any de facto property division in Western Australia and the division of property of a de facto couple is largely the same as the division of property of married couple

The difference is in the apportionment of superannuation. In Western Australia, there is no right  to split or roll over superannuation entitlements.

The limitation period for applying for de facto property orders in the Family Court of Western Australia is two years from the date of separation.

The Family Court of Western Australia uses a four-stage process for determining de facto property settlements.

Learn more about the process and Property Settlement here.

Same Sex Divorce Lawyers

Our Perth and Joondalup family lawyers have represented many LGBT clients.

CS Family is proud to be a progressive, inclusive, forward-thinking legal practice that supports marriage equality and equality before the law.

We can help LGBT clients with:

    Property and Financial Issues
    Child Custody and Parenting Issues
    Binding Financial Agreements
    Child Support Agreements
    Restraining Orders
General Discussion Law / Civil Matters Magistrates Court of Western Australia
« Last post by Mary-Jane on April 18, 2018, 10:21:06 AM »
Magistrates Court of Western Australia Civil Matters

The Magistrates Court deals with civil matters that involve:

    claims for debt or damages of up to $75,000;
    minor claims for debt or damages up to $10,000;
    consumer/trader claims over the sale, supply or hire of goods or services;
    residential tenancy matters involving amounts up to $10,000; and
    claims for the recovery of 'real property' up to a gross rental value of $75,000.

There are a range of forms for use in all civil proceedings initiated in the Magistrates Court

To download any of these, select the relevant Act, rule or regulation from the left-hand menu.

A range of fact sheets are also available to guide you through civil proceedings in the Magistrates Court.

If you are aware of a risk to yourself or others in relation to a matter, please contact the court location at which the matter will heard to advise the court of that risk.

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