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Australia launches private family arbitration scheme: the Alternative Courtroom

Last week in Australia a private family law arbitration scheme was launched. Known as the Alternative Courtroom, it provides a service for those involved in family disputes to help produce an adjudicated outcome and resolution. It has a panel of experienced and specialist Australian family arbitrators. It makes the arrangements for the start of the process including assisting the arbitrator and dealing with issues of disclosure.

David Hodson considers landmark Australian decision regarding special contributions A very important decision has been handed down in a landmark full Family Court decision in Australia in respect of financial outcomes on divorce, especially affecting wealthy families. The decision in the case of Kane has ended a long line of decisions giving significant weight to the so-called ‘special contribution' of the spouse who financially created the wealth of the family.

There's a ghost in the matrimonial home... and it's not the ex David Hodson in his international family law opinion piece describes the possible effect of a haunting of the matrimonial home on the divorce financial outcome, as set out in a judgment from a federal magistrate's decision in Sydney, Australia

Technology creates 24/7 duty of care on lawyers to respond to clients Technology has transformed the way in which lawyers across the world conduct their work. This is especially the case for lawyers dealing with international cases. But what is our duty out of hours?  How much can we safely leave the office in the evening, turn off the BlackBerry, power down the laptop and chillax?

International endorsement for family arbitration Family arbitration has been successfully launched in several countries recently and is having a kick-start in those countries where it is presently available but underused.

There has been a recent endorsement and encouragement at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights in Sydney, Australia, in March 2013. The Congress passed the following motion amongst other motions:

This Congress:

What do you call a judge and how much to pay for the privilege? Two developments late last year in Australia have interesting reflections for other countries, and give timely warnings and alerts of potential government actions. How should judges be described and does it have any impact on the respect for the judicial system or indeed respect by the judges for that system? To what extent should court fees be self-funding?

Napoleon Bonaparte and the Queensland Gold Coast I had the considerable privilege of being invited this summer by the Queensland Law Society to be the international keynote speaker at their residential annual family law conference in mid-August, which took place on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane.