Children – court failed to determine how its order for supervision and anger management courses…

family law casenotes

would ameliorate the risk of harm the father was found to pose due to his violence and lack of insight

In Darmadi & Binjori [2023] FedCFamC1A 29 (23 March 2023) Tree J, sitting in the appellate jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, heard a mother’s appeal in a parenting case.

Orders were made for the father to complete a men’s behaviour program, 12 weeks of anger management and that, once the father had completed half of each course, the children spend time with him supervised at a contact service. Once the father had completed the courses, had a report from the supervisor and after six months of supervised time, unsupervised time would commence.

Tree J said (from [18]):

“…[There was an] … implicit acceptance by the primary judge that the father posed a risk of harm from family violence to the children…


[24] One necessarily asks, by what chain of reasoning was the primary judge satisfied that the two sets of preconditions sufficiently ameliorated an unacceptable risk to the point where it was acceptable, especially given the evidence discussed above?…


[25] …[I]t is clear that the primary judge therefore failed to properly engage with the central issue in the mother’s case of the father’s lack of insight about the impact of his violence and anger…


[28] The primary judge did not undertake any assessment of the likelihood of the father again demonstrating family violence … or the prospect and magnitude of harm to the children should he do so. However equally significant is the absence of any reworking of the risk assessment factoring in the effect of the two sets of preconditions. In this case it was essential … to grasp the nettle and engage directly with how – if at all – the two sets of preconditions sufficiently ameliorated the relevant risk…”

The mother’s appeal was allowed, the case was remitted for rehearing and cost certificates were ordered.

Craig Nicol and Keleigh Robinson are co-editors of The Family Law Book. Both are accredited specialists in family law (Queensland and Victoria, respectively). The Family Law Book is a one-volume loose-leaf and online family law service (

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