The Sydney Morning Herald opens this article with the following curious sentence:
Take a left at Neptune, a right at Mars and swing by Uranus. That’s where you’ll find one of the centres of the universe – Sydney’s most marginal seat – at the NSW election
Murphy has been campaigning full-time for nine months. He has been a member of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW …
Mr Murphy is the son of former Whitlam government attorney-general and High Court Justice Lionel Murphy, is standing again
According to Wikipedia:
Lionel Keith Murphy QC (1922–1986) was Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government, and then sat on the High Court from 1975 until his death.
Murphy’s most important legislative achievement was the Family Law Act 1975, which … established the Family Court of Australia.
On the court, Murphy was known for his radicalism and judicial activism. However, his final years were marred by persistent allegations of corruption. He was convicted of perverting the course of justice in 1985, but had the conviction overturned on appeal and was acquitted at a second trial. In 1986, a commission was established to determine whether he was fit to remain on the court, but it was abandoned when Murphy announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer.
After 43 years, it has become obvious that the Family Court is dysfunctional and needs to be abolished:
The Family Court of Australia will be scrapped and rolled into a new, larger court, as part of the biggest change to the family law system since its creation in 1976, in an effort to resolve more efficiently acrimonious custody and property disputes that can drag on for years.
- The backlog of family law cases has ballooned to 21,000, from 17,200 cases five years ago, causing crippling waiting times of up to five years for some families.
- The median time to reach trial has blown out from 11.5 months to 17 months in the Family Court and from 10.8 months to 15.2 months in the Federal Circuit Court.
- The increasing delays have occurred despite the number of divorces in Australia dropping by 11 per cent over 10 years, and the number of applications for final orders in family law matters remaining steady at about 22,000 a year.
- A review by consultants found Federal Circuit Court judges were finalising on average almost 10 times as many cases as Family Court judges, whose caseload was more complex, but not 10 times as complex.
- Legal bills for families in the Family Court are about four times more than those in the Federal Circuit Court.
Source: The Australian