This information is for the 2012/13 session.
Helen Reece and Julie McCandless
Available to LLB and BA Anthropology and Law students. It is also available to General Course students and as an outside option.
The course is concerned with the regulation of personal relationships and the public and private consequences for individuals of this regulation. The course examines the legal constitution of families, the problems people encounter in their personal relationships and the legal responses to those problems. We are as concerned with what actually happens in practice and the policy behind it as with the law as stated in the books.
Term 1: Adult Relations:
1. Introduction: (a) Intervention in the family; (b) Discrimination against families, in the context of human rights legislation.
2. Marriage and Civil Partnerships: (a) the distinction; (b) same-sex marriage proposals; (c) nullity.
3. Divorce and Dissolution
4. Domestic violence: the legal framework.
5. Financial provision: (a) conceptions of equality; (b) the legal framework for discretion (c) pre-nuptial agreements.
Term 2: Child Law:
1. Introductory concepts: (a) legal parenthood (b) children's welfare; (c) the welfare checklist; (d) principle of non-intervention; (e) parental responsibility: meaning and allocation.
2. Children and families: (a) legal framework; (b) regulation after relationship breakdown
The course is taught through lectures and classes.
Students are set essays, which do not count for assessment purposes, in the first and second terms.
Students are provided with a detailed syllabus and reading list for class topics. Basic reading for each topic will be drawn from a number of sources including text books, cases and articles.
In case students wish to purchase any books the following are suggested:
Textbooks: Frances Burton, Family Law (Routledge 2012); J. Herring, Family Law (5th edn, Longman 2011); Judith Masson et al, Cretney's Principles of Family Law (8th edn, 2008, Sweet and Maxwell); Nigel Lowe and Gillian Douglas, Bromley's Family Law (10th edn, 2007, OUP).
Casebooks: Alison Diduck and Felicity Kaganas, Family Law, Gender and the State (3rd edn, 2012, Hart Publishing); Sonia Harris-Short and Joanna Miles, Family Law: Text, Cases and Materials 2nd edn (2011, OUP); Brenda Hale et al, The Family, Law and Society: Cases and Materials (6th edn, 2009, OUP);
Reader: Michael Freeman, Understanding Family Law (2007, Sweet and Maxwell).
Three-hour examination in which students answer four questions. Approved statutory materials may be taken into the examination in accordance with School Regulations.