Journal Article

Introduction: Lambert and Lampposts: The End of Equality in Anglo-Australian Matrimonial Property Law?

Richard Ingleby

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 137-147
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebi010
Introduction: Lambert and Lampposts: The End of Equality in Anglo-Australian Matrimonial Property Law?

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This contribution introduces the volume by classifying the collection into 3 categories: (i) examinations of the area of property law which focus on the relationship between the decisions in White, Figgins and Lambert; (ii) reactions to the implications of McFarlane, Parlour for the evolution of spousal maintenance; (iii) more general theoretical considerations of ‘fairness’. It is argued that the judicial response to the breadth of the discretion provided by the respective legislatures has been to create ‘rules of thumb’; and that the absence of any serious examination of underlying principles has been to permit opportunistic cross-referencing between the jurisdictions. In this context it is argued that (analogously with the introduction of no-fault divorce) the recent attraction of ‘equality’ as a governing principle owes more to the incapacity and/or unwillingness of the forensic process to evaluate contribution in a coherent manner than to any genuine commitment to substantive equality.

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Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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