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Sydney NSW 2000
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Melbourne VIC 3000
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Brisbane QLD 4000
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Canberra ACT 2601
Unlike many other areas of law, whether it be in a civil or criminal jurisdiction, the content of family law proceedings are confidential and cannot be publicised. Indeed, it is an offence under section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to publish, in any way, any identifying information relating to proceedings before the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court.
Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) provides for the following:
commits an offence punishable, upon conviction by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.
Mainstream media and journalism is the most obvious area of society that needs to be wary of section 121 in respect to what is published in relation to family law proceedings. However, parties to the proceedings should also be aware that publishing information on social media about their own family law matter online is a breach of section 121. As set out in section 121, it is not just the parties directly involved in the proceedings who need to aware of the obligation to keep proceedings confidential as the words “a person who is related to, or associated with, a party to the proceedings or is, or is alleged to be, in any other way concerned in the matter to which the proceedings relate.
In order to prevent information about family law proceedings being disseminated to the public, the following measures are put in place:
If you would further information about confidentiality in family law proceedings, please do not hesitate to contact one of our family law team.
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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100