Scope of the Inquiry

Terms of Reference

11.9 The scope of this Inquiry is limited by the Terms of Reference, which direct the ALRC to consider improvements to legal frameworks to protect the safety of victims of family violence.[14] Chapter 12 considers how the safety of victims of family violence may be improved by reforms in the area of child support.

11.10 Consequently, the ALRC will not examine a range of issues which—while they may affect victims of family violence—have relevance to a range of CSA customers and the operation of the child support scheme. Reforms to address these issues would be systemic, and wider than the Terms of Reference. Alternatively, recommending narrower reforms that address the effect of these issues solely on victims of family violence would introduce a two-tiered operation to aspects of the child support scheme.

11.11 The ALRC rejects as inappropriate a two-tiered system that would subject victims of family violence to substantially different practices and procedures than other CSA customers. It would compromise the integrity of the child support scheme, and may disadvantage the general CSA customer base.[15]

11.12 Systemic issues that are beyond the Terms of Reference are identified below. Stakeholders have also raised numerous compelling issues of a systemic nature in their submissions.[16]

[14] The full Terms of Reference are set out at the front of this Report and are available on the ALRC website at <>.

[15] See discussion of ‘system integrity’ in Ch 2.

[16] See, eg, Commonwealth Ombudsman, Submission CFV 54.