LAW5303 - Forensic family law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Renata Alexander Researcher ProfileResearcher Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Term 4 2018 (On-campus block of classes)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7022


This unit focuses on intra-family conflicts and how decisions are made under the Family Law Act 1975. It looks at practice and changes in family law over the past 40 years and analyses how expert evidence and social, psychological and medical sciences inform family law decision making. Areas explored include shared parenting, family violence and attachment theory. The unit looks at how this knowledge is applied by decision makers. It also investigates the interaction between the Family Law Act and international conventions such as UNCROC, the Hague Convention on child abduction and the Hague Convention on child protection.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of issues and developments in relation to a range of intra-family disputes with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to expert evidence and social science research in a range of topics in family law decision making under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth);
  • Conduct research in Forensic Family Law based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to family law theory and practice.


Research assignment (7,000 words): 90%

Class participation and attendance: 10%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)