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