On 26 June 2018, the Senate referred the practice of dowry and the instance of dowry abuse in Australia to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 December 2018. This report was made public on 13 February 2019.

There are six chapters in this report:

  • Chapter 1 outlines the administrative details of the inquiry, and defines the terms dowry and dowry abuse.
  • Chapter 2 sets out the relevant legislative frameworks in federal, state and international jurisdictions including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
  • Chapter 3 examines the arguments for and against criminalising the practice of dowry, the adequacy of existing federal criminal law provisions, and the adequacy of the existing extradition arrangements between Australia and the Republic of India.
  • Chapter 4 examines the adequacy of federal family law in protecting victims of dowry abuse. 
  • Chapter 5 examines the adequacy of the migration framework in protecting victims of dowry abuse. 
  • Chapter 6 examines issues of data collection with respect to the incidence of dowry abuse, and how to raise awareness of this issue amongst victims, the community and professionals.
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