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Local stories:

Vic law change may make death of foetus culpable offence
Ruddock says religious divorce not for secular courts to decide

The Age newspaper reports this morning:

Causing the death of an unborn child in a road crash may be considered a culpable driving offence under an overhaul of Victoria's driving laws.

The existing laws on murder, manslaughter and culpable driving do not apply when a foetus is killed in a car crash. Instead, the incident is treated as an injury to the pregnant woman.

But under the State Government's review, the death of a foetus could fall into the category of culpable driving causing death or into a proposed category of dangerous driving causing death.

The proposed changes are part of a Department of Justice discussion paper on culpable and dangerous driving laws, to be released today.

The Australian newspaper carries a story this morning:

Orthodox Jews and Muslims who divorce will not be able to use the Family Court to obtain a religious divorce, Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock said.

Mr Ruddock told The Australian that he would not pursue a Family Court recommendation allowing a court to withhold civil divorce proceedings until a spouse granted their partner a religious divorce.

A religious divorce is considered in some religions a necessity before a couple can remarry or legally separate.

The Age – Culpable driving may cover death of foetus>
The Australian – Religious divorce not for courts>

19 Jan 2004