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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Comparative Family Law: Adult Relationships (LAWS11333)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore a range of topics from family law in a comparative context, looking at Scots law, English law, and two other jurisdictions (the specific jurisdictions may depend on the home jurisdictions of the students in the class). We will examine both the legal regulation and the theory behind the practice, and compare different approaches to regulation. Does family law in different jurisdictions seek to achieve the same ends through different means, or are there different ends evident? The very question of whether the state should get involved at all will also be addressed: is family life private life? If the state intervention is justified, should this be at the outset, or during the family life, or at the end of the relationship?

An indicative list of topics is as follows:

1. What is a family? What is family law? Why does the state regulate certain adult relationships?
2. Marriage and civil partnerships: who may get married or enter into a civil partnership? A comparative review of attitudes towards the state regulation of formally recognised relationships.
3. Cohabitation - is it regulated, and in what way? Can a couple contract out of the state regulation of cohabitation?
4. Financial provision at the end of a relationship (whether marriage, civil partnership, or cohabitation) - what does it seek to achieve? What should it seek to achieve?
5. Forced marriage - regulation and protection across Europe.
6. Parental status - who can be a parent? Different ways to create families, including donor conception, surrogacy and adoption.

Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. At the end of the course, students should have developed their knowledge and understanding of:
    - Different theories and aims of regulating family life in different jurisdictions;
    - How those theories are sought to be realised through legislation;
    - Specific topics of current relevance in family law;
    - How a critical comparative approach can aid understanding.
  2. Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry:
    Paper and online research, and the use of materials from other jurisdictions.

  3. Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy:
    In order to prepare for the work of the class each week, students will need to develop their research
    skills and prioritise the material to be read and analysed. Contribution to class discussion will also
    enable students to formulate their own views and uphold these through class debate - while respecting conflicting views, where held by other students. The assessment will also allow for the exercise of personal and intellectual autonomy, through the selection of one assessment question from the range on offer.

  4. Skills and abilities in Communication:
    Students should have developed their skills in oral communication through participation in class, and written communication through preparation for class and through the assessment

  5. Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness:
    Time management, communication, and personal autonomy.

Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gillian Black
Tel: (0131 6)50 9541
Course secretaryMs Ginny Spencer
Tel: (0131 6)50 9094
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