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LAW8718 International Family Law

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: International Family Law
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090907 - Family Law
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Sarah McKibbin

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


International Family Law aims to give graduate students advanced knowledge of a field of law that is of increasing importance with migration between countries and globalised families. It aims to extend students’ knowledge beyond Australian family law and to compare it with related law in the European Union and United States. Students will develop advanced writing and communication skills in the detailed articulation of this law in research assignments. The course is available in the Master of Laws, Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Laws Honours.


The course deals with the private international law of Australia, the European Union and the United States as it applies to questions of the validity of marriage, the recognition of foreign matrimonial and property decrees, and international child abduction. It is delivered intensively in four seminars over two weeks (two seminars in each of two weeks), and will involve closely supervised research assignments.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. evaluate developments in international family law, and critically examine the relationship between those developments and contemporary family law practice;
  2. apply advanced knowledge of international family law in the European Union and the United States, and the influence of other legal systems on the substance, theory and practice of Australian law;
  3. undertake, interpret and evaluate research on international family law using advanced legal research methodologies and techniques;
  4. articulate advanced knowledge of international family law in written or oral presentations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Marriage and other adult relationships 25.00
2. Annulment and divorce 25.00
3. Property and maintenance 25.00
4. Parental responsibility 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Mortensen, R, Garnett, R & Keyes, M 2019, Private international law in Australia, 4th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Collins, L (ed.) 2012, Dicey, Morris and Collins on the conflict of laws, 15th edn, Sweet and Maxwell, London.
Davies, M, Bell, A & Brereton, P 2019, Nygh’s conflict of laws in Australia, 10th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
Fawcett, JJ & Carruthers, J 2017, Cheshire, North & Fawcett’s private international law, 15th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Law Council of Australia 2015, International parental child abduction resource, Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia, Canberra, ACT.
McEleavy, P & Beaumont, P 2011, Anton’s private international law, 3rd edn, W Green/Thomson Reuters, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 65.00
Independent Study 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1 10 10 10 Aug 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 1 40 40 14 Sep 2020
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 2 10 10 28 Sep 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 2 40 40 06 Nov 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian.

Date printed 6 November 2020