Ideas and Debates in Family Law

Ideas and Debates in Family Law

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By (author) Rob George

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  • Publisher: Hart Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 178 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 10mm | 290g
  • Publication date: 8 August 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 1849462542
  • ISBN 13: 9781849462549
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 611,238

Product description

Ideas and Debates in Family Law is written for family law students, at undergraduate level and beyond, who are looking for less orthodox ideas about family law. The book's first section looks at themes in family law, addressing challenges facing the family justice system, rights and responsibilities, and the internationalisation of the law regulating families. The second section is focused on adult relationships: it suggests new ways for the law to allocate legal consequences for families, debates the consequences of the 'contractualisation' of marriage, and explores the value of 'fairness' in family finances. The third section is about children, discussing the welfare principle, parental responsibility and practical parenting. Although these issues sound common enough in a family law book, the discussions found here are far from common. Useful by itself or alongside a textbook, Ideas and Debates in Family Law offers new and thought-provoking perspectives on family law issues. 'Rob George is a new, distinctive and powerful voice in family law scholarship. In this book he subjects received and emerging opinions to incisive examination, providing readers with the intellectual invigoration associated with first class seminars. Above all, he re-claims family law as a significant branch of the idea and practice of justice.' John Eekelaar, Pembroke College, Oxford 'Building on a successful format for undergraduate seminars in Oxford, this unique student text presents an exciting array of thought-provoking debates and intellectually stimulating, sometimes unorthodox, ideas. It will help students to situate their knowledge and to think more deeply and critically about family law and policy. I applaud this book's focus and content and Rob George's vision in writing it.' Stephen Gilmore, King's College London 'Whether you are a student looking for interesting points to make your work first class or an academic wanting an overview of family law theory, this is the book for you. Rob George has brilliantly captured the main issues facing family lawyers and policy makers at this fascinating time. All the major concepts in family law - marriage; parenthood; family - are having to be rethought and redefined. This book provides an excellent starting point for how we might go about reimagining family law and policy.' Jonathan Herring, Exeter College, Oxford

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Author information

Rob George is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College, Oxford.

Review quote

The author expresses himself simply and clearly, in non-legalistic terms, making it ideal for the intended target audience of undergraduate students who are just starting to think more deeply about the concepts and theory behind the black letter law. ...the strength of this book lies in its exploration of less orthodox ideas, offering new and at times controversial perspectives on some of the major concepts in family law. It encourages the reader to question the reasoning behind judicial decisions, and brings to light some of the less obvious assumptions that current family law is based on. Claire Simmonds Cambridge Law Journal Volume 72, 2 ...for anyone interested in thinking about family law, this book provides an invaluable and thought provoking read. George captures and succinctly explains much of the modern debate about family law. As an academic with a practical bent, I found this book an engaging read; not just because it discusses a swag of topical and complex issues in modern family law, but also because George eschews the dry writing style that academia promotes. He makes complex ideas simple and keeps his writing style light...It is not possible for George to engage with all these ideas in detail, but that is not his aim. Perhaps the most important contribution this book makes - for academics, the judiciary and reform minded practitioners - is to remind us that there are different ways of thinking about family law and to provoke us into thinking more deeply about the underpinnings of family law. Lisa Young Australian Journal of Family Law Volume 27, 2013 ...Ideas and Debates in Family Law is the latest addition to the ever-increasing body of family law literature available. It is, however, unlike most texts on the market and, although ostensibly a student text book, it offers much food for thought for any individual engaged with matters of family law. What makes Ideas and Debates in Family Law different is that it purports to be a 'book of questions, not a book of answers'. Ideas and Debates in Family Law is clearly marketed at family law students and would certainly be a great addition to students interested in furthering their knowledge of the key issues and debates in family law and engaging critically with the topic. Rob George has a very clear and direct style in his writing. He employs simple language to great effect in order to explain complex and often very abstract theories while retaining the intrinsic value of the discussion presented. Text boxes, examples, graphs, key questions and sign posts are used throughout ensuring the lively cadence and clear structure of the chapters. However, it would be wrong to assume the text is only of interest to students. It also possesses inherent value for academics and others interested in the family law field. Ideas and Debates in Family Law aims to provide 'new and thought-provoking perspectives on family law issues' and it certainly delivers on this promise. It is thoroughly enjoyable and intellectually stimulating, demanding the reader to think outside the box and to endeavour to reconceptualise such fundamental issues as family, marriage and parenthood. Furthermore, many of the issues discussed in this book are highly topical in light of the current review of matrimonial property being conducted by the Law Commission for England and Wales. Kathryn O'Sullivan Child and Family Law Quarterly Volume 25, Number 1 ... a thought-provoking volume with the goal of stimulating consideration of the purpose, philosophy and practice of family law...George raises significant issues of local and international import and offers the opportunity for stimulating discussion and research. Rosalie Young Law and Politics Book Review Volume 23, No. 1 This is an excellent small book, with eight superbly crafter chapters, that sets family law in its true context within society and the administration of justice. It can...certainly be recommended not only for students but for anyone with an interest in or involvement with the practice of family law. It is full of good sense on the limitations of mediation and shows a clear understanding of the main issues facing those practising family law and those proposing changes to law, practice and procedure. The blend of case-law, academic writing, research, creative thinking and imaginative layout (eg the use of boxes) make this an enjoyable book to read. Andrew Pote Family Law November 2012 At first I begrudged it's lack of answers, muttered to myself that it was like being back in English literature / cultural studies lectures - but then I realised I was approaching it like I would a practitioner textbook. And I used to love my eng lit / cult studs lectures. Once I stepped back into the critical thinking mode of undergrad days long since past it was a joy. This book's aim is really a starting point or springboard for further study and thought - the book is comprehensively referenced and I'm left with a long list of other academic writing I want to read. Lucy Reed Pink Tape Blog October 2012 Ideas and Debates in Family Law sets out the key questions facing those who work on these matters whether as lawyers or social scientists, as practitioners or scholars...it will be a key tool in the hands of the next generation of students of family law and family policy, enabling them to ask tough questions, seek effective answers, and defend and develop that part of the legal system which protects the vulnerable and seeks fair outcomes for those engaged in family change or dispute. From the Foreword by Mavis Maclean

Table of contents

Introduction 1 Family Law and Family Justice The World of Family Law Arguments Against Family Law Family Law and Family Justice 16 Conclusions 2 Rights and Responsibilities Rights and Obligations Responsibilities and Expectations Connecting Rights to Responsibilities Analysing Family Law Using Responsibilities and Expectations Conclusions 3 International Family Law International Family Law: What Is It, and Where Did It Come From? The 'Forum' Approach The 'Mutual Recognition' Approach The 'Harmonisation' Approach Conclusions 4 Regulating Adult Relationships Regulating Relationships What Counts as an Intimate Adult Relationship? Why Marry? Why Not? Conclusions 5 The Meanings of Marriage The Idea of Marriage The Contract of Marriage? The Sunset Clause Marriage Conclusions 6 Fairness in Family Finances The Meanings of Fairness The Application of Fairness to Divorcing Spouses The Application of Fairness to Separating Cohabitants Is Fairness A Helpful Standard? 7 The Values of Welfare The Welfare Checklist Understanding the Welfare Principle Applying the Welfare Principle: The Role of Context Valuing Welfare 8 Parental Responsibility, Parenting and Status Parental Responsibility Day-to-Day Parenting: The Example of Shared Residence Family Law As Justice