Dec. 5, 2022

Unnatural Authority

Unnatural Authority

If we ask what the key instruments are, by which male power and control is maintained - family court is right at the top of the list. As an institution, family court operates in near-total secrecy, cloaked in privacy laws, and with no independent ove...


If we ask what the key instruments are, by which male power and control is maintained - family court is right at the top of the list. As an institution, family court operates in near-total secrecy, cloaked in privacy laws, and with no independent oversight. Worlds unto themselves, family courts wield enormous authority and power, and a long and invasive reach into how we conduct our most private relationships. 

Journalist Grant Wyeth has spent the last few years delving deep into exactly how family courts across the world wield that power, whose interests are protected and whose are not, and the cultural forces that drive its decisions - decisions that by and large do not favor the interests, safety and welfare of women or children. 

In this episode, Elle and Grant hash through the whys, hows and very real and violent impacts of "the family court crisis", what it says about the state of men, and the urgent need for a new language and new terms for relationships between women and men.

Grant Wyeth links:

International Blue

The Facilitating System of the Family Court

The Best Interest of the Abuser

Credits

Host: Elle Kamihira

Produced by Elle Kamihira

Audio Engineering by Jason Sheesley at Abridged Audio

Cover Art by Bee Johnson

Music by Beware of Darkness 

Grant WyethProfile Photo

Grant Wyeth

Journalist

Grant Wyeth is a Melbourne-based writer and academic. Currently he is a columnist for the Asia-Pacific Affairs publication, The Diplomat, and writes a weekly newsletter for Australian Foreign Affairs magazine. His work has been published in a variety of publications throughout Australia, North America, Europe and India.

Although his background is in political science and international relations, in recent years he has taken a keen interest in the family court and the way in which the institution has been captured by ideas and actors that are hostile to mothers and indifferent to the welfare of children. A widely read journal article titled How the Family Court’s Purpose to Protect Children Become Inverted was published in the Spring 2021 issue of Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly. His current work in this area is seeking to understand the concentric circles of violence and abuse that spiral up from individual and family level to the state and international level.