Accessibility statement

Family Law - LAW00040H

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Mary-Jane Horgan
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module seeks to provide students with a fascinating introduction to Family Law via both a theoretical and practical point of view. It's subject area which is constantly in the news, whether it be high-profile divorces, fights over property, finances and children, or simply consideration of what we actually mean by *family* in the 21st century. It covers domestic violence and how the family courts can protect victims and their children, cohabitants and their rights - or lack thereof - plus how family cases link into many other areas of law.

This module can be taken as a standalone subject, or - if students wish to advance their learning and undertake a practical family law module - as a prerequisite to the Family Law in Practice module in Year 3, Term 2.

Related modules

This module can be taken as a standalone module/subject, or - if students wish to advance their learning and undertake a practical family law module - as a prerequisite to the Family Law in Practice module in Year 3, Term 2.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module seeks to provide students with an introduction to Family Law by both a theoretical and practical point of view. Students will examine issues including:

  • the concept of the family (what the law recognises as a family relationship and the extent to which the law s protections reflect wider social realities);
  • the formation and dissolution of marriages and civil partnerships;
  • entitlements to property during marriages and civil partnerships and following the breakdown of such relationships;
  • the role and status of children within family relationships;
  • the protection of persons within families from abuse;
  • procedures for resolving disputes within families both within and outside of the court system

In addition to identifying the law on the subject matters above, the module will involve the examination of theoretical literature (both within the law and more generally) to enable students to evaluate current laws and practices from a critical perspective.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Systematic understanding of how a family relationship is defined legally and what protections the law offers to a family so defined;
  • Systematic understanding of the powers the courts have to control the property of family members and the principles under which those powers are exercised;
  • Systematic understanding of how the welfare of children is promoted by laws and legal procedures;
  • The ability to critically evaluate the concept of the family and how it is protected or controlled by legal process;
  • The ability to describe and critically evaluate the use of court processes to protect the interests of family members.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Critical Essay
N/A 60
Essay/coursework
Problem Question
N/A 40

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Critical Essay
N/A 60
Essay/coursework
Problem Question
N/A 40

Module feedback

Comments on assessment within timescale set by university policy.

Indicative reading

  • Gillian Douglas, An Introduction to Family Law (2004, OUP)
  • Brenda Hale & David Pearl, The Family, Law & Society (2008, OUP)
  • Nigel Lowe & Gillian Douglas, Bromley s Family Law (2006, OUP)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.