“On the current operation of the law, once a woman conceives a child, regardless of the father’s subsequent level of involvement or conduct, she has unwittingly traded her right to liberty of movement and the freedom to choose her own place of residence if she wants to retain custody of her child. The Australian High Court has reaffirmed that, within this patriarchal legal system, resistance is futile.”
Anna Kerr is the Founder and Principal of the Feminist Legal Clinic in Sydney, and is working with us on the Hague Mothers’ legacy project. The Feminist Legal Clinic works to advance the cause of feminism and champion the human rights of women and girls by providing legal support to feminist organisations, groups and services and the women who access them. It is in that pro-bono role that Anna first became aware of the Hague Convention, and of the rigidity and lack of humanity of the court process.
She wrote this article in 2018. The situation has not improved in the intervening time.
(The article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the ALA. For more information about the ALA, please go to: www.lawyersalliance.com.au.)