The Law Council of Australia has called for the abandonment of a federal parliamentary inquiry into the family law system, citing concerns that the hearings are “being used for political purposes” to undermine domestic violence claims made by women.
The Law Council president, Pauline Wright, has written to the chair of the inquiry, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, to formally complain about the live broadcast on the hearings by One Nation last week.
“What is of most concern to the Law Council is that some of the evidence given, mainly by women, has been the subject of scorn and denigrating comment on the One Nation Facebook sites.
“As well, lawyers from women’s organisations were the subject of particularly negative commentary. Comments include that women lawyers are ‘bitches’, ‘evil’, ‘snakes’, and ‘fugly’.
“As well as some generally offensive comments, many of the comments perpetuate discredited notions about domestic violence; for example, denying that the vast preponderance of domestic violence is perpetrated by men upon women and that women are ‘liars’. The Law Council is particularly concerned that this commentary may incite or excuse domestic violence.”