Law Reform Essay

Words: 1997
Pages: 8

Evaluate the role of law reform in achieving just outcomes for family members and society
-Recognition of same-sex relationships
Olivia Jane

To achieve just outcomes, justice needs to be done and seen to be done. To do this the law must adapt to accommodate society’s changing needs and attitudes. This means that, over time, new laws must be introduced and old ones repealed or amended. The decriminalizing of homosexuality is one area in which law reform has been driven by changes in society’s values and the consequent advancement of society in recognizing equality and justice for its
…show more content…
This demonstrates the need for law reform to achieve just outcomes for family members and society as it is currently not recognizing same-sex marriage creating inequality under the law.

In the case Corbett v. Corbett (1970) the Family Court ruled that a person remained the sex indicated on their birth certificate, irrespective of any sex change surgery. This meant that the couple could not remarry, as it wouldn’t be considered a valid marriage. The ruling on this case was ineffective for the couple because one partner’s new gender would not be legally recognized. However, 30 years later, in the case re Kevin (2001) the Court took a different position and ruled that a person who has decided to change their sexual identity can still get married and live life as the gender of their choice. In this particular case law reform was effective in providing a just outcome for the couple and any future couples who are in the same situation.

Same-sex couples may undergo a ‘commitment ceremony’ so that their union is publicly acknowledged, but this is not the same as a marriage ceremony. Lucinda Schmidt, writer of the Sydney Morning Herald article Portia DeGeneres and the fight for same-sex marriage (2010), points out that the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage. Yet both major political