This chapter analyzes how international and comparative law developments have influenced the development of the new paradigm of family dispute resolution in the United States. It focuses, in particular, on reform efforts in Australia that have shifted family dispute resolution away from the court system and into the community, and on the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that children have the opportunity to participate in legal proceedings that affect them. In addition to articulating independent rights for children and imposing obligations on both state institutions and families to protect children's interests, Article 12(2) of the CRC requires that a child “be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.”
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