The Infants' Custody and Settlement Ordinance 1956 (Act no. 2/1956) was Commonwealth legislation that applied in the ACT, repealing the Infants Custody and Settlements Act of 1899 (NSW) on 1 March 1956. This Ordinance was repealed by the Infants Custody and Settlements (Repeal) Act 1995 (ACT) on 19 June 1995. This ordinance became an ACT Act on 11 May 1989.
According to the Ordinance a court could, upon the application of a parent, make such orders as it thought fit regarding the custody of the infant. Where the court was of the opinion that a parent had abandoned, neglected or deserted an infant; or conducted himself/herself in a manner by which custody should be refused; or the tender age of the infant of his/her state of health rendered it expedient that he/she should remain with his/her mother or some other person then a court could decline application for custody.
Where a parent was believed to have abandoned, deserted or neglected an infant, the parent would have to satisfy the court that he/she was a fit person to have custody. Where the court was satisfied that a person with custody was unfit to continue because of cruelty or neglect, a court could order the infant be given up to the custody of another.
1956 - 1995 Infants' Custody and Settlement Ordinance 1956
1995 - 2000 Infants' Custody and Settlements (Repeal) Act 1995
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Australian Capital Territory: Provisions of the legislations', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2009, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/australian-capital-territory; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Northern Territory Legislation', 1 February 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Lydia Connell and Christine Moje
Created: 4 May 2011, Last modified: 21 October 2014