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IAFL Global Comparison of LGBT Laws

The International Academy of Family Lawyers, of which Vanessa Mathews is a Fellow, has published a global survey of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender laws (LGBT laws), the results of which can be found here

The IAFL LGBT Committee stated ‘Laws affecting LGBT people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction. There are now 28 jurisdictions that accept same sex marriage, however gay sex remains illegal in many jurisdictions with the death penalty still applying in 14.

The International Academy of Family Lawyers (“IAFL”) supports all efforts towards full equality of the LGBT community throughout the world and the end to rules that unfairly discriminate against such individuals and, in many countries, criminalize countless couples because of the ones they love. There remains a lot of work to be done.
The work done by some fellows of the IAFL is having a real impact and changing for the better the lives of LGBT people. The LGBT Committee of the IAFL commissioned this survey to capitalize on the knowledge and expertise of some members for the benefit of the IAFL as a whole and the LGBT community.

The individual submissions in this survey are the work of fellows of the IAFL who have kindly donated their time and expertise to answer the same questions as set out below. Each of the contributor’s names and contact details are included.

The LGBT Committee intends that this should be a living resource. We are asking those who have already kindly donated their time to keep us informed as laws change in their jurisdictions. We have detailed submissions from 46 jurisdictions, however, there remains a good number of jurisdictions not covered where the IAFL has fellows. If your jurisdiction is not covered and you feel able to complete a survey, please get in touch with the IAFL.’

Congratulations to the IAFL LGBT committee members for preparing such a comprehensive review of comparative laws.

Case Studies Child Custody Relocation and Recovery

Emily avoids being returned to the USA

Carol and her school-aged daughter Emily moved to Australia from the United States. Emily settled into school and Carol started in a new job which was a major promotion and pay rise. Meanwhile, unbeknown to Carol, Emily’s father sought and was granted custody of Emily through a Court in the USA. The Court ordered Emily to return to live in the USA. To her surprise, Carol was also told that if she accompanied Emily to the USA it was highly likely she would be arrested and imprisoned. Emily was very upset and confided in her teacher that she was very happy in Australia and wanted to stay with her mother. A timely application to the Australian Family Court enabled Emily to stay with her mother in Australia.

[Case: Emily avoids being returned to the USA]

Case Studies Child Custody

Claudia returned after her mother abducted her to WA

Peter and Claudia were a fantastic father and daughter team, they spent many hours discussing their favourite sports. Peter was deeply involved with Claudia’s home schooling. He lived with Claudia and her mother. One night, though, Peter returned home from shopping to discover both Claudia and her mother were gone. An urgent application was made to the Family Court of Australia and the Australian Federal Police found Claudia safe in West Australia and a few days later she was home safe and sound with her dad. Peter and Claudia continue to spend many happy hours together today.

Case Studies Child Custody Parenting Plans Parenting Plans

What is reasonably practicable in Mt Isa?

The mother of a four year old child had difficulties finding employment in Mt Isa and therefore wanted to return to live in Sydney. Despite the limited employment prospects for the mother, a Federal Magistrate ordered the mother and father should have equal shared responsibility, this meant the mother would continue to live in Mt Isa. It was not until the mother took her appeal to the High Court that the importance of an order being reasonably practicable was highlighted and the court agreed with the mother that living in Mt Isa was not reasonably practicable for her and therefore not in the best interests of the child.