Justin Dowd interviewed by Japanese TV on Australian family law trends

On 8 February 2023, Watts Mccray and AFL Sydney office hosted a visit from representatives of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation who had come to Australia to research Australian family law as a model for proposed, significant developments in family law in Japan.

A brief overview of family law in Japan

Japan’s family law system highlights the country’s distinctive cultural values and its commitment to adapting to the changing needs of its citizens

At present in Japan, the law does not provide for “joint custody”, what we would call “equal shared parenting responsibility”, of children. The Japanese legislature is considering reform of the law to provide for joint custody arrangements.

What was discussed?

Family law trends in Australia and Japan with Justin Dowd, Watts McCray lawyers

Ms Nobuko Matsuda, Correspondent with the International News Division of the JBC interviewed on film our Senior Consultant, Justin Dowd in a wide-ranging discussion covering the development of Australian family law, the introduction of equal shared parenting in 2006 and the recognition of de facto and same-sex relationships in 2009.

There was also considerable discussion about very recently announced proposals to amend the Family Law Act in Australia in respect of these issues. Those issues were also explored with senior lawyers in Watts McCray, Jackie Vincent (herself a Japanese speaker), who was able to recount her own very recent experience of an Australian/Japanese case, and Elise Fordham and Barry Frakes.

The team also interviewed members of the Judiciary and filmed clients, as well as the operation of Family Relationship Centres.

When will this go to air?

It is anticipated that this segment on family law in Japan featuring Justin Dowd will go to air (in English) in late February, on Japan’s national TV channel NHK. The Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) counted approximately 44.8 million broadcasting subscribers in Japan in 2020.

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