The Children Act- Film Screening and Panel discussion

Date & time
7.30–9pm Wednesday 27 March 2019

Cultural Centre, Kambri Precinct, ANU, Acton ACT 2601, Australia

Professor Tom Faunce
Justice John Faulks, former family Court Judge and ALRC commissioner,
Justice Mary Finn, former family Court Judge, former member of the ANU Council


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.

ANU College of Law Marketing

Presented by ANU Film Group and ANU College of Law, Law Reform and Social Justice Program

Film screening followed by panel discussion
Law Reform and Social Justice

The ANU College of Law, Law Reform and Social Justice Program proudly presents The Children Act.

Directed by Richard Eyre and starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci, the film explores a family’s right to refuse medical treatment on grounds of religious belief. A boy, just shy of his 18th birthday, refuses a blood transfusion because it conflicts with his views as a Jehovah’s Witness. The Court must grapple with the issue of whether to override the child’s wishes and force him to accept the procedure despite his convictions, or respect his decision as a result of which he will almost certainly die.

The LRSJ has tickets available and following the film will present a panel discussion featuring eminent experts in the field including:

  • Professor Tom Faunce,
  • The Hon John Faulks, Australian Law Reform Commissioner and former judge of the Family Court
  • The Hon Mary Finn, former judge of the Family Court and renowned law reformist, particularly in relation to the Family Law Act.

Please register via for your complimentary ticket. On the night, you will need to get your name checked off with Law Reform and Social Justice to receive your movie ticket to enter the screening.


  • Professor Tom Faunce »

    Professor Thomas Faunce is an expert in health law and nanotechnology regulation, as well as the impact on those areas of trade and investment agreements; areas where he has been awarded five Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants.

    Thomas was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to investigate how nanotechnology could help solve the great public health and environmental problems of our time. This has led him to research governance issues surrounding the globalisation of artificial photosynthesis to make every road, house and vehicle on the earth’s surface make renewable fuel and fertilizer. This is achieved by using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen while absorbing atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide. His research here is focused on developing a Global Project on Artificial Photosynthesis to help promote environmental sustainability. Thomas has coordinated major international conferences on these themes.

  • Justice John Faulks »

    The Honourable John Faulks was appointed as a part-time ALRC Commissioner in October 2017, to assist in the Reivew of the Family Law System.

    His Honour was appointed as a judge of the Family Court of Australia in 1994, and Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court in 2004. His many contributions to the court included oversight of the Magellan project, an interagency collaborative model of case management developed to deal with Family Court cases involving serious allegations of physical and sexual child abuse. His Honour was also instrumental in the development of the Less Adversarial Trial process, and the initiative to address the needs of self-representing litigants within the Family Court. He retired from the Family Court in 2016, after 22 years of service.

    Prior to judicial appointment, John was in private practice for 26 years, as a barrister and solicitor. He has been President of the ACT Law Society, President of the Law Council of Australia, and Chair of the Family Law Council.

    John is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, and an occasional lecturer at his alma mater, the Australian National University. He is also currently a mediator, and Chair of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature.

  • Justice Mary Finn »

    Justice Mary Finn of the Family Court of Australia is a second-generation woman lawyer (third generation lawyer). Her mother was Clare Foley, Queensland's fourth woman solicitor, who, in turn, was the daughter of an Ipswich lawyer, Edward Pender. Appointed to the bench of the Family Court in 1990, Justice Finn retired on her seventieth birthday, in July 2016.

    Finn's reputation as a drafter and developer of legislation, established during her career in the Federal Attorney-General's office, was renowned. Lionel Bowen, federal Attorney-General 1984-1990, described her advice as both 'practical and accurate'; he was known to ask regularly, when confronted with legislative challenges, 'What would Mary think?'

    Finn is well known for her contribution to the review of the Family Law Act 1975, completed in 1980, and for her contribution to committees established to implement the report's recommendations. Her public service experience established her credentials as an expert in family law; at the time of her appointment to the bench in 1990 she was regarded as one of Australia's leading experts on the Family Law Act.

    Both of Finn's children, Wilfred and Eugenie, are fourth generation lawyers, with Eugenie enjoying a special and rare status in Australian law as a third generation woman lawyer.




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