Professor Patrick Parkinson

Head of School

School of Law
Faculty of Business, Economics and 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 Family Law and the Indissolubility of Parenthood (2011), Tradition and Change in Australian Law (4th ed, 2010), Australian Family Law in Context (4th ed, 2009), 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).


  • Master of Laws, University of Illinois


View all Publications



Book Chapter

  • Parkinson, Patrick N. (2018). The future of marriage in secular societies. In Robin Fretwell Wilson (Ed.), The contested place of religion in family law (pp. 617-640) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108277976.026

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2017). Being a non-resident parent. In Romy de Jong, Adriaan van der Linden and Veronica Smits (Ed.), In verbondenheid: opstellen aangeboden aan Professor mr. Paul Vlaardingerbroek ter gelegenheid van zijn emeritaat (pp. 89-104) Deventer, Netherlands: Wolters Kluwer.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2017). Reconsidering family property law in the post-marital age. In Jessica Palmer, Nicola Peart, Margaret Briggs and Mark Henaghan (Ed.), Law and policy in modern family finance: property division in the 21st century (pp. 15-36) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Intersentia.

  • Parkinson, Patrick, Taylor, Nicola, Cashmore, Judith and Austin, William G. (2016). Relocation, research, and child custody disputes. In Leslie Drozd, Michael Saini and Nancy Olesen (Ed.), Parenting plan evaluations: applied research for the Family Court (pp. 431-459) New York, United States: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/med:psych/9780199396580.003.0014

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2015). Children's dispute resolution: the Australian experience. In International perspectives on disputes about children and child protection: collected essays on parental responsibility and children’s dispute resolution (pp. 89-108) Hong Kong, Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2015). Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse by religious leaders. In Ben Mathews and Donald C. Bross (Ed.), Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect (pp. 295-308) Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9685-9_14

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2014). The ties that bind: separation, divorce and the indissolubility of parenthood. In Alan Hayes and Daryl Higgins (Ed.), Families, policy and the law: selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 177-184) Melbourne, Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2013). Family instability, mental health and the emerging financial crisis for the welfare state. In Hugues Fulchiron (Ed.), Les solidarités entre générations: Solidarities between generations (pp. 85-103) Brussels, Belgium: Éditions Bruylant.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2012). Christian concerns about an Australian charter of rights. In Paul Babie and Neville Rochow (Ed.), Freedom of Religion under Bills of Rights (pp. 117-151) Adelaide, SA, Australia: University of Adelaide Press. doi:10.1017/UPO9780987171818.008

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2010). Changing policies regarding separated fathers in Australia. In Michael E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development 5th ed. (pp. 578-614) Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2009). The financial impact of relocation disputes: empirical evidence from Australia. In Bea Verschraegen (Ed.), Family finances (pp. 553-567) Vienna, Austria: Jan Sramek.

  • Parkinson, P. (2007). Family relationship centres: a new approach to resolving conflicts about parenting in Australia. In Lynn D. Wardle and Camille S. Williams (Ed.), Family law: balancing interests and pursuing priorities (pp. 611-620) Buffalo, NY, United States: Hein and Co.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2006). The past caretaking standard in comparative perspective. In Robin Fretwell Wilson (Ed.), Reconceiving the family: critique on the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution (pp. 446-471) Cambridge, MA, United States: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511617706.026

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2005). Die Durchsetzung von Toleranz: Gesetze gegen religiose Verleumdung in Australien. In Thomas Schirrmacher and Thomas Zimmermanns (Ed.), Ein Maulkorb fr Christen? (pp. 110-133) Bonn, Germany: VKW.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2002). Quantifying contributions. In Handbook of the 10th National Family Law Conference (pp. 17-41) Melbourne, Australia: National Family Law Conference.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2001). Equity. In Michael Coper, Tony Blackshield and George Williams (Ed.), The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia () Melbourne, Australia: OUP.

  • Magner, Eilis and Parkinson, Patrick (2001). Recovered memories: the legal dilemmas. In Recovered memories: seeking the middle ground (pp. 51-68) Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/0470013486.ch4

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2000) The problem of child sexual abuse in church communities Milton, QLD, Australia: Queensland Crime Commission

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2000). Child protection law in Australia. In Michael Freeman (Ed.), Overcoming child abuse: a window on a world problem (pp. 15-38) Aldershot, Hampshire, United Kingdom: Ashgate.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2015). The challenge of affordable family law. In: Margaret F. Brinig, Selections from the Recife Congress. 15th International Society of Family Law World Conference, Recife, Brazil, (189-214). 6-9 August 2014.

  • Parkinson, P. and Behrens, J. (2014). Relocation as a risk factor: when to hold and when to fold. In: 16th National Family Law Conference, Sydney, NSW, Australia, (). 07-10 October 2014.

  • Parkinson, Patrick and Cashmore, Judy (2008). A longitudinal relocation study. In: Juliet Behrens, Bruce Smyth and Rae Kaspiew, Relocation disputes in Australia : what do we know, and what are the implications for family law and policy?. Relocation Disputes in Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (103-110). 18 April 2008.

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2008). Advising clients in relocation cases. In: Advanced Family Law Weekend, Seminar Papers. Advanced Family Law Weekend, Sydney, NSW, Australia, (71-98). 16-17 August 2008.

Other Outputs