- About us
- Prospective undergraduates
- Prospective postgraduates
- International culture
- Our research
- Building brilliant careers
- Staff profiles
- Our links with business and alumni
- The Hamlyn Trust
- Lasok lectures
- Bracton law journal
- Pro Bono
- Our sponsors
- Contact us
- Current students
- Staff intranet
- Module description
The Family, Law and Social Change (LAWM689)
|Staff||Professor Anne Barlow - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
This module will through the lens of family law and policy critically examine the way in which law responds to social change. It aims to evaluate the theoretical explanations for the nature of this relationship, the doctrinal influences on a domestic and international level and the direct and indirect impact on it of inter-disciplinary socio-legal research.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. engage in critical reading of theoretical, doctrinal and socio-legal writing on family law to achieve both a developed understanding of the various critiques of the relationship between the family, law and society
- 2. appreciate the sometimes controversial role of socio-legal research in uncovering and identifying the changing processes and social developments which lie behind it.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. develop an inter-disciplinary approach to socio-legal issues, express their own thoughts on the topics studied, such as sociological, political or policy-oriented reflections
- 4. combine and draw on both theoretical approaches and inter-disciplinary empirical research, while demonstrating the ability to address competing arguments
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. capacity to conduct independent study and group work and meet deadlines
- 6. develop critical approach to legal and socio-legal research in the family law and policy domain
- 7. develop high level of competence in accessing legal and socio-legal bibliographic sources
- 8. assemble systematic and sustained argument orally and in writing in a family law context
Seminar 1: Family Definition and the Law - Responses to Social Change and Medical Technology
Seminar 2: Marriage, Cohabitation and the Law - Legal versus Social Norms?
Seminar 3: Parental Rights and Social Responsibility - Domestic and International Approaches to Family Policy
Seminar 4- Parents in Law- The challenges of donor assisted conception.
Seminar 5: - The Normal Chaos of Family Law - Perspectives on its theoretical, ethical and empirical challenges
Seminar 6: Student-led seminar
Oral Presentation on topic of student's choice
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||15 hours||6 x 2.5 hour seminars|
|Guided independent study||135 hours||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Seminar essay, oral presentation to the group, and class participation||A seminar essay of 10 pages will be the basis of the oral presentation to the group. The essay and presentation will be formatively assessed and do not count towards the end-of-module assessment, though the material covered therein may be used as the basis for the assessed essay.||1-8||Oral and or written feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||100||Maximum 3,750 words||1-8||Written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Essay||Essay (Maximum 3,750 words)||1-8||Next reassessment period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Bailey-Harris, Rebecca (1996) Law and the Unmarried Couple Oppression or Liberation? 8(2) Child and Family Law Quarterly 137-147.
Bala, Nicholas and Bromwich, Rebecca (2002) Context and Inclusivity in Canadas Evolving Definition of the Family International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 16:145-180.
Barlow, Duncan James and Park (2005) Cohabitation, Marriage and the Law Oxford: Hart
Barlow and Probert (2004) Regulating Marriage and Cohabitation : Changing Family Values and Policies in Europe and North America 26 (1) Law and Policy 1
K. Boele-Woelki and A. Fuchs (eds) (2001) Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples in Europe Antwerp: Intersentia
Bradley, David, (1996) Family Law and Political Culture. London: Sweet and Maxwell.
Bradley, David (2001) Regulation of unmarried cohabitation in West-European Jurisdictions Determinants of Legal Policy International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 15:22 50
Cooke, Elizabeth (2001) "White v White: a new yardstick for the marriage partnership" Child and Family Law Quarterly 81
Roger Cotterrell (1992 second ed) The Sociology of Law: An Introduction. (London: Butterworth).
Day-Sclater, S (2000) Families London: Hodder and Stoughton
Jones, C., Why Donor Insemination Requires Developments in Family Law: The Need for New Definitions of Parenthood. Edwin Mellen Press. 2007
Jones, C., The identification of parents and siblings: new possibilities under the reformed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act in Herring, J., Wallbank, J and Choudhry, S., (eds) Rights, Gender and Family Law, Oxford, Routledge-Cavendish: Glasshouse press, 2009.
J. Dewar, The Normal Chaos of Family Law (1998) 61 MLR 467, 470
Eekelaar, J and Thandabantu N, (1998) The Changing Family Oxford:Hart
Fortin, J (2003) Childrens Rights and the Developing Law London: Butterworths.
Freeman, Michael D.A., (1984) Legal Ideologies, Patriarchal Precedents, and Domestic Violence. In The State, the Law and the Family: Critical Perspectives, edited by M. D.A Freeman. London:Tavistock.
Glendon, Mary Ann, (1981) The New Family and the New Property Toronto: Butterworths.
Home Office (1998) Supporting Families. London: Home Office.
King, Michael and Piper, Christine (1995) How the Law Thinks about Children Aldershot: Arena.
Lewis, Jane, (2001) The End of Marriage?, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Maclean, M. (ed) (2005) Family Law and Family Values Oxford: Hart
ODonovan, K. (1993) Family Law Matters London: Pluto
Smart, Carol (1989) Feminism and the Power of Law London: Routledge
Gunther Teubner (1993) Law as an Autopoietic System (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell Publishers).
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Family Law Social Change