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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Family Law in Comparative Perspectives (LAWS11359)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all 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?
Course description 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by one essay of 5000 words.
Feedback An opportunity for the students to seek feedback in advance of the summative assessment will be provided.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand different theories and aims of regulating family life in different jurisdictions.
  2. Understand how those theories are sought to be realised through legislation.
  3. Understand specific topics of current relevance in family law.
  4. Have developed their knowledge of how a critical comparative approach can aid understanding.
Reading List
All readings will be provided in advance of class.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry: Paper and online research, and the use of materials from other jurisdictions.

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

Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness: Time management, communication, and personal autonomy
Keywordsfamily law
Course organiserDr Gillian Black
Tel: (0131 6)50 9541
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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