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Rights, Gender and Family Law

RIGHTS, GENDER AND FAMILY LAW, Wallbank, J. Choudhry, S. and Herring, J., eds., Routledge, 2009

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2010

Posted: 18 Feb 2010  

Julie Wallbank

University of Leeds

Shazia Choudhry

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Jonathan Herring

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2009

Abstract

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 UK, the US, 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.

Rights, Gender and Family Law explores the tensions between rights-based and welfare-based approaches: 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 that rights-based discourses will dominate family law, at least in the way that social policy and legislation respond to calls of equality of rights between mothers and fathers. This collection, however, argues that rights cannot be given centre-stage without thinking through the ramifications for gendered power-relations, and the welfare of children. It will be of interest to researchers and scholars working in the fields of family law, gender studies and social welfare.

Keywords: Family Law, Gender, Rights-Based Approaches

Suggested Citation

Wallbank, Julie and Choudhry, Shazia and Herring, Jonathan, Rights, Gender and Family Law (November 1, 2009). RIGHTS, GENDER AND FAMILY LAW, Wallbank, J. Choudhry, S. and Herring, J., eds., Routledge, 2009; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1554996

Julie Wallbank (Contact Author)

University of Leeds ( email )

Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Shazia Choudhry

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Jonathan J. W. Herring

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

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