Professor Patrick Parkinson

Professor of law at the University of Sydney; specialist in family law

Patrick Parkinson is the Academic Dean and Head of School for the TC Beirne School of Law. Professor Parkinson is a specialist in family law, child protection and the law of equity and trusts. His books include Australian Family Law in Context (6th ed, 2015), Tradition and Change in Australian Law (5th ed, 2013), Family Law and the Indissolubility of Parenthood (2011), The Voice of a Child in Family Law Disputes (with Judy Cashmore, 2008), Child Sexual Abuse and the Churches (2nd ed, 2003) and Principles of Equity (editor, 2nd ed., 2003). Professor Parkinson served from 2004-2007 as Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney- General, and also chaired a review of the Child Support Scheme in 2004-05 which led to the enactment of major changes to the Child Support Scheme. He was President of the International Society of Family Law from 2011-14. Professor Parkinson is also well-known for his community work concerning child protection. He has been a member of the NSW Child Protection Council, and was Chairperson of a major review of the state law concerning child protection which led to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. He also works with churches on child protection issues.

In 2018, Professor Parkinson was awarded a Doctor of Laws by the University of Sydney for his book, Family Law and the Indissolubility of Parenthood (Cambridge University Press, 2011).


18 Feb 2007DocumentaryABC Radio Background Briefing - Parental Alienation
18 Feb 2007StatementFamily Courts tackle the difficult dilemma that no-one else wants to face
14 Jun 2015DocumentaryABC Radio Background Briefing - In the child's best interests
14 Jun 2015DocumentaryExtended Interview with Professor Patrick Parkinson
14 Jun 2015StatementJudges don't know much about kids and need experts to help them
13 Dec 2018HearingSenate Hearing Federal Courts Merge Day 4
13 Dec 2018StatementFamily law is simple, families are complicated
13 Dec 2018StatementMany of the proposed Courts Merger laws will help judges manage cases better
13 Dec 2018StatementLow quality judges have been appointed in recent years - judges should be appointed through open inquiries