Child support and the SSAT: an Anglo-Australian comparison.
Australian Journal of Family Law, 21, (1), .
This article discusses the new arrangements for reviewing decisions of the
Child Support Agency, which came into force on 1 January 2007. Since that
date the jurisdiction of the SSAT has been expanded to include merits review
of agency decisions. There has been bipartisan political support for the
introduction of a greater element of external review into the child support
scheme. This article examines the new arrangements in the light of the
experience of the child support scheme in Great Britain, where appeals
against agency decisions have been heard by tribunals modelled on those
used for resolving social security disputes since 1993. The British
experience suggests that the inquisitorial ethos of the SSAT model,
premised on a citizen v state dispute, is not necessarily well suited to dealing
with child support disputes, which are typically adversarial in nature.
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