Manjot Kaur
Manjot Kaur
The changing nature of parental responsibility

Dr Caroline Counsel: "Any sort of caution that is taken by the courts to minimize harm to children has to be a good thing". (Article 4)
The term “parental responsibility” is defined in s61B of the Family Law Act 1975 (cth) as follows -
“In this Part, parental responsibility, in relation to a child, means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children.”
Family Law Act 1975 (cth) defines a family as the natural and fundamental group unit of the society. Children are the most vulnerable part of a family therefore their protection and wellbeing is the society’s paramount concern. Children are considered the responsibility of their parents and weather the parents are fulfilling the requirements of these responsibilities or not is checked by other agencies like the police, teachers, doctors and other family members. There have been significant changes in the responsibility of parents in the past where the law has tried to keep up with evolving views of the society, especially on the role of fathers in a child’s life. Modern day belief is that there exists a termination of marriage but not a termination of parenthood.
The importance given to the fact that children need the most protection and their betterment should be the main concern of the society has been evident since the family law act 1975 (cth) but it was in the Family Law Reform Act 1995 that the term ‘best interests of the child’ was specifically included in the legislation. This was due the influence of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC). This convention highlights the importance of protecting children from discrimination or any kind of neglect globally. CROC was adopted by the UN in 1989 and is internationally accepted by most countries as most of the member states have signed the convention. Australia signed and ratified it in 1990 and so is...