Rights, Gender and Family Law

Rights, Gender and Family Law


Edited by Julie Wallbank, Edited by Shazia Choudhry, Edited by Jonathan Herring


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  • Publisher: Routledge Cavendish
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 234mm x 23mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 21 January 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415482674
  • ISBN 13: 9780415482677
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

There has been a widespread resurgence of rights talk in social and legal discourses pertaining to the regulation of family life, as well as an increase in the use of rights in family law cases, in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. "Rights, Gender and Family Law" addresses the implications of these developments - and, in particular, the impact of rights-based approaches upon the idea of welfare and its practical application. There are now many areas of family law in which rights and welfare based approaches have been forced together. But whilst, to many, they are premised upon different ethics - respectively, of justice and of care - for others, they can nevertheless be reconciled. In this respect, a central concern is the 'gender-blind' character of rights-based approaches, and the ontological and practical consequences of their employment in the gendered context of the family: for the balance of power between women as mothers and men as fathers, as well as for children's welfare. The contributors to "Rights, Gender and Family Law" explore the tensions between rights based approaches and welfare based approaches in family law: explaining their differences and connections; considering whether, if at all, they are reconcilable; and, addressing the extent to which they can advantage or disadvantage the interests of women, children and men. It may be the case that rights-based discourses will come to dominate family law, at least in respect of the way that social policy and legislation responds to calls of equality of rights between mothers and fathers. This book, however, argues that rights cannot be given centre-stage without thinking through the ramifications for gendered power-relations, and the welfare of children.

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Author information

Julie Wallbank is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Leeds. Shazia Choudhry is Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Jonathan Herring is a Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford University.

Table of contents

1. Welfare, Rights, Care and Gender in Family Law, Shazia Choudhry, Jonathan Herring and Julie Wallbank 2. Gender, Rights, Responsibilities and Social Policy, Brid Featherstone 3. Child Protection, Gender and Rights, Felicity Kaganas 4. Rights and Responsibility: Girls and Boys Who Behave Badly, Christine Piper 5. (En)Gendering The Fusion of Rights and Responsibilities in the Law of Contact, Julie Wallbank 6. Fatherhood, Law and Fathers' Rights: Rethinking the Relationship Between Gender and Welfare, Richard Collier 7. Mandatory Prosecution and Arrest as a Form of Compliance with Due Diligence Duties in Domestic Violence -- The Gender Implications, Shazia Choudhry 8. The Limitations of Equality Discourses on the Contours of Intimate Obligations, Lisa Glennon 9. Public Norms and Private Lives: Rights, Fairness and Family Law, Alison Diduck 10. The Identification of 'Parents' and 'Siblings': New Possibilities under the Reformed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, Caroline Jones 11. Children with Exceptional Needs: Welfare, Rights and Caring Responsibilities, Joanna Bridgeman 12. Relational Autonomy and Family Law, Jonathan Herring 13. Concluding Thoughts: The Enduring Chaos of Family Law, Helen Rhodes