News
02.11.2020

Parental Alienation and Family Law Reform | by Professor Augusto ZIMMERMANN, LLB, LLM, PhD

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Augusto ZIMMERMANN, LLB, LLM, PhD – Professor at Sheridan College in Perth, Western Australia. He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. In addition, Professor ZIMMERMANN is a former Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australian and a former Associate Dean (Research) and Postgraduate Research Director at Murdoch University’s School of Law. Professor IMMERMANN is also the founder and President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA), a former Vice-President of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy (ASLP), a Fellow at the International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family, and Editor-in-Chief of the Western Australian Jurist law journal.

A prolific writer and the author of numerous articles and academic books, ZIMMERMANN was awarded the 2012 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, and two School Dean’s Research Awards, in 2010 and 2011. He has also received the 2013 Law Lecturer of the Year Award from the Murdoch Student Law Society (MSLS), in recognition of the outstanding level of teaching, service and personal contribution he provided to the students of Murdoch Law School.

Finally, ZIMMERMANN has been included, together with only twelve other Australian academics and policy experts, in ‘Policy Experts’ – the Heritage Foundation’s directory for locating knowledgeable authorities and leading policy institutes actively involved in a broad range of public policy issues, both in the United States and worldwide.

Professor Augusto ZIMMERNAMM began his July 8, 2020 remarks to Australia’s Parliament by citing a paper of Dr. Richard A. WARSHAK wrote and published in an American Psychology Association journal. A study endorsed by 110 researchers and practitioners across the world.

Some people claim that the incidence of false allegations of violence is rare in child custody litigation. Professor ZIMMERMANN countered this idea by citing a survey of magistrates in New South Wales in which 90% agreed that domestic violence restraining orders are commonly sought as a “tactical device” to deprive former partners of contact with their children.

Professor ZIMMERMANN, a former Law Reform Commissioner in Western Australia, recommends that the family law system punish parents with loss of custody if they unfairly alienate their children from the other parent or lodge false allegations of domestic violence as a tactical maneuver in child custody litigation. While it is a matter of opinion to agree or not to agree with this type of blanket recommendation, it is without any question that the family law system should find ways to discourage such behaviors.

Overall, Professor ZIMMERMANN’s remarks merit careful consideration, not just in Australia, but in family law systems throughout the world. Read these remarks here.

«Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn an mir kënnen e Beispill fir den Rescht vun Europa sinn.» –

– «We want to remain what we are and we can be an example for the rest of Europe.»

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