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The chapter considers the issue of abuse within intimate relationships. It promotes the view that the core of intimate abuse (the terminology preferred in this chapter to domestic abuse) can be seen as involving coercive control between people in an intimate relationship in a way which promotes structural inequalities within soceity. It explores the consequences of this understanding of intimate abuse for the law.
Who are we? What is important to us? What makes us who we are? These are some of the deep questions addressed in this book. Such questions might be seen as too ‘airy fairy’ for lawyers to seek to address. Yet I have argued it is essential that they do.
The chapter argues in favour of the concept of universal vulnerability. That is, that we are all vulnerable in our human nature. It claims that societal resources enable some people to better respond to their vulnearbility. It rejects the idea there are groups of people that should be classified as vulnerable. Rather, it argues that we should all be seen as equally vulnerable. It explores the potential impact of this model for the law.
The chapter explores the nature and importance of care. It promotes care ethics and explains the key principles underpinning that approach to ethical thinking. It also defends care ethics from the claim that it fails to respect disabled people. The chapter explores how the law and society can promote and respect care work.
This chapter considers the impact on criminal law of adopting the relational self model. It discusses the concept of relational harm, the approach towards consent, the idea of relational blame and the definition of exploitation. It promotes a relational model of responding to criminal behaviour.
The chapter considers the impact on family law of adopting the concept of the relational self. In particular, it explores the role of family law, the definition of families, financial orders on separation, the definition of parenthood, the concept of parental responsibility and the nature of children's welfare. It explores how a relational self model would ensure that family law protected and promoted valuable relationships.
This chapter considers how adopting a model of the relational self might impact on medical law. In particular, it considers how the issues of ownership of bodies and bodily material; the concept of mental capacity; the law's understanding of best interests; and the notion of personhood would be affected by understanding the self in a relational way.
This chapter explores the concept of the relational self. It contrasts it with the traditional understanding of the indivdiualised self. It argues that the model of the relational self captures the sense that our identity, language and ways of understanding the world come from our relationships. It explores how the law has been based on an individualised self through, for example, emphasising autonomy. It argues that the law should adopt a relational understanding of the self.
This book promotes a relational understanding of the self. It explores how law can be transformed by focusing on the promotion and protection of caring relationships, rather than individual rights. This offers a radical and profound re-imagining of what law is about and what it should be trying to do. It moves from the theoretical into offering practical examples of how the law could be developed to enhance relationships, rather than undermine them.
Families and family law have encountered significant challenges in the face of rapid changes in social norms, demographics and political expectations. The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Family Law highlights the key questions and themes that have faced family lawyers across the world. Each chapter is written by internationally renowned academic experts and focuses on which of these themes are most significant to their jurisdictions. In taking this jurisdictional approach, the collection will explore how different countries have tackled these issues. As a result, the collection is aimed at students, practitioners and academics across a variety of disciplines interested in the key issues faced by family law around the world and how they have been addressed.