Family lawyers can gain a number of valuable insights from the ‘child recovery’ attempt backed by Channel Nine in Lebanon, writes Jennifer Hetherington.
From a family law perspective, the child abduction fiasco in Lebanon earlier this year continues to generate shock waves.
It began in April when Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes funded a child abduction in Lebanon for a Brisbane mother locked in a custody war with her estranged Lebanese husband.
The TV crew, led by reporter Tara Brown, filmed Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner as a hired ‘recovery’ team snatched her children from a Beirut street. As we all know, the plan turned to toast, the authorities quickly pounced and the TV crew and those who ran the abduction operation were arrested and thrown into jail.
Channel Nine subsequently paid a sizeable sum to someone to get their people back. Sally Faulkner and the TV crew were freed and flown back to Australia (without the children) while the ‘recovery team’ languish in a Beirut jail.
Now media outlets are reporting that a judge in Lebanon has recommended Faulkner should face kidnap charges over the botched child recovery operation, while the TV crew (who were just following orders) face fines. Ms Faulkner has reportedly not spoken to the children since the debacle and if she enters Lebanon to attempt to see them, could well be arrested.
So in the wake of the whole disaster, what are the wider lessons for family lawyers in Australia and for the Australian media (which appears to have crossed the ethical line between merely reporting on events and actually funding them)?
Read More: Lawyers Weekly
By Jennifer HetheringtonBack to News
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