Affinity Lecture Series : The Honourable Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO

The issue of commercial surrogacy has recently entered the Australian psyche. In all the States and Territories in Australia except for one, commercial surrogacy is illegal. In two of the states and in the Australian Capital Territory, that illegality extends to commercial surrogacy contracts contracted outside Australia; in other words those three jurisdictions have created commercial surrogacy as an extraterritorial criminal offence.

Despite this many couples and even single parents are taking advantage of advances in technology to have a baby carried by a surrogate mother in overseas countries. In most, but not all cases, the egg is provided by a separate donor, usually anonymous, and the surrogate mother has biological connection with the child she is carrying.

For several years the varying laws in different states in Australia have created problems for the Family Court when parties return to Australia with children born from commercial surrogacy in some circumstances legally and in others illegally, and seek parenting orders from the courts. The courts have had to deal with these cases.

Although it is illegal in Australia for commercial surrogacy that has not prevented many Australians from going to other countries, particularly those poorer countries in our region and there is a flourishing surrogacy industry in India and Thailand for Australians. The economic capacity of Australians to pay for commercial surrogacy arrangements and the need for impoverished women in these countries to provide for their families makes for enormous power imbalance in the commercial contracts that are contracted. The Commonwealth Attorney-General has recently released a report from the Family Law Council (a statutory family law advisory council) on surrogacy in Australia and the topic came to the attention of the Australian press recently when a Thai surrogate mother revealed that Australian commissioning parents had refused to accept one of twins with health problems and she was left unable to financially care for the child without any support from the parents. My paper will discuss the interface between the availability of technology which enables anyone to commission a child and the problems that can raise for the surrogate mother, unwanted children and lack of regulation about the who the commissioning parent or parents might be and whether there is anything which would render them unsuitable. Even in the happiest of arrangements into which a surrogate child is brought, it is often the case that the child will grow up without any knowledge, or capacity to know about one half of their genetic make up.

She will discuss  issues such as, what are possible solutions there might be and the extent to which the international community, particularly the Permanent Bureau at the Hague is addressing this issue.

Welcoming Speech by The Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley AO

Facilitator – The Hon. Justice Shane Marshall

The Hon. Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO : “Commercial Surrogacy & Australian Psyche” 

Q & A

Few Highlights from the lecture :

11210430_877683135623851_8989684947483016753_n 11209667_877664045625760_3331843515714509260_n 11169863_877673102291521_3591305966122390831_n 11129247_877673178958180_3402799104481388507_n 11203065_877664558959042_1964903194668019407_n

11204406_877673672291464_451751257698658579_n 11210485_877664328959065_1709883411917182601_n 11209733_877665348958963_1999864965618761246_n 11208668_877665468958951_1683136945480540815_n 11205994_877676698957828_9114593060931138595_n 11210519_877676232291208_6362247353577711233_n 11193247_877674788958019_2800733906223444495_n 11193217_877664145625750_4824073734256956116_n 11188422_877675872291244_4462525847627473720_n 11188319_877665058958992_2173770262237027626_n 11188214_877674598958038_4407029474367114140_n 11188168_877664498959048_2275934178229619998_n 11182195_877664325625732_4251480223666356078_n 11182158_877664232292408_6652565581005133856_n 11181202_877676868957811_1507558470859694575_n 11178347_877665202292311_424146258658126685_n 11178321_877674328958065_9138362532249901881_n 11174920_877675722291259_4345050220139193601_n 11173411_877676735624491_122424920744927484_n 11167696_877664805625684_2076682806921270310_n 11173411_877676735624491_122424920744927484_n

 

 

 

 

11152711_877664832292348_5025534295172017120_n11163235_877665568958941_8177479042448902561_n

11150919_877676062291225_6533677917105404459_n11149433_877676625624502_8895404079467250891_n 11143088_877664332292398_1747773824523755564_n 11070626_877676278957870_9200464889294913160_n

 

 

11138568_877674905624674_2238211841381218097_n

 

11037888_877664888959009_9152878673334783655_n

11036724_877675475624617_2426301105391584799_n

11017048_877665078958990_8767443675543682170_n

11008509_877676502291181_7994026166041402210_n

1472097_877664365625728_4303937700945293321_n

1544353_877665292292302_5804712782615928910_n

10398033_877676212291210_4271300130304185445_n

 

603739_877675855624579_7056712109270474016_n

247183_877674482291383_7315253695970144560_n

19724_877677075624457_8045305880144570296_n

15587_877674038958094_2712567068367166036_n

18189_877664542292377_6911770631155549873_n

 

 

18708_877674188958079_5755146234946160496_n DSC_0610

 

 

 

DSC_0593

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Honourable Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO

Justice Diana BryanThe Honourable Diana Bryant AO was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 5 July 2004. Prior to her appointment she was the Chief Federal Magistrate of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia (now the Federal Circuit Court of Australia) from 2000-2004, having guided the emergence and growth of that court as the inaugural Chief Federal Magistrate.

Before her appointment to the Bench, Chief Justice Bryant practised as a family lawyer with a national firm in Perth and spent ten years at the Victorian Bar, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997. She has had a longstanding commitment to the advancement of women in the law and is currently the Patron of Australian Women Lawyers and a committee member of The Australian Association of Women Judges. She is also a Board member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and President of the Australian Chapter of the AFCC.

Chief Justice Bryant received a Centenary Medal in 2001 for her role in the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law, particularly to family law policy reform and practice, through the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court, and to the advancement of women in the legal profession.

Guest Facilitator : The Honourable Justice Shane Marshall

Untitled-1Justice Marshall was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia and the Industrial Relations Court of Australia in July 1995 after a career at the Victorian bar, spanning almost 14 years, almost exclusively in the industrial relations and employment areas.

In 2003, Justice Marshall received a centenary medal for services to industrial relations.

From January 2004 until September 2013 Justice Marshall was an additional non-resident judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, sitting in the trial and appellate divisions of that court.

Justice Marshall served on the Board of the Law Faculty of Monash University from April 2008 to October 2013 and currently sits on its replacement, the External Persons Advisory Committee for the Monash Law Faculty.

In September 2013, Justice Marshall became one of the inaugural ambassadors for the Wellness and the Law Foundation – a joint initiative of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar.

In October 2014, Justice Marshall became Deputy Chair of the Advisory Board to the Australian Intercultural Society – an inter-faith dialogue body.

On 1 February 2015 he became an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at the University of Western Sydney and a Director of the LUCRF Community Partnership Trust.