Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies

Mapping Paths to Family Justice

Resolving Family Disputes in Neoliberal Times

Authors: Barlow, A., Hunter, R., Smithson, J., Ewing, J.

  • Winner of the Hart–SLSA Book Prize 2018
  • Presents the first major study of family mediation in England and Wales since the 2000s
  • Fills a gap in the existing family law literature
  • Speaks to academics, policy makers and practitioners
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-55405-5
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Hardcover £70.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-55404-8
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About this book

​The family justice system in England and Wales has undergone radical change over the past 20 years. A significant part of this shifting landscape has been an increasing emphasis on settling private family disputes out of court, which has been embraced by policy-makers, judges and practitioners alike and is promoted as an unqualified good.

Mapping Paths to Family Justice: Resolving Family Disputes in Neoliberal Times examines the experiences of people taking part in out-of-court family dispute resolution in England and Wales. It addresses questions such as how participants’ experiences match up to the ideal; how recent changes to the legal system have affected people’s ability to access out-of-court dispute resolution; and what kind of outcomes are achieved in family dispute resolution.

This book is the first study systematically to compare different forms of family dispute resolution. It explores people’s experiences of solicitor negotiations, mediation and collaborative law empirically by analyzing findings from a nationally representative survey, individual in-depth interviews with parties and practitioners, and recorded family dispute resolution processes. It considers these in the context of ongoing neoliberal reforms to the family justice system, drawing out conclusions and implications for policy and practice.

About the authors

Anne Barlow FAcSS is a Professor of Family Law and Policy at the University of Exeter. She has published widely in the field of family law and has a particular research interest in the regulation of adult relationships and in the family justice system.  She has directed a number of socio-legal research projects on family and property issues including on cohabitation law reform and pre-nuptial agreements, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.  Most recently, she led the ESRC-funded Mapping Paths to Family Justice project on which this book is based, which explored norms and experiences within alternative family dispute resolution.

Rosemary Hunter FAcSS is Professor of Law and Socio-Legal Studies at Queen Mary University of London. She was previously Professor of Law at the University of Kent, and Professor and Dean of Law at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, and has chaired the Research Committee on Sociology of Law’s Working Group on Gender and Law (2003-10) and the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association (2011-17). Her socio-legal work includes studies of family court processes and out-of-court family dispute resolution, the experiences in court of litigants in person and victims of domestic violence, legal aid and access to justice, the implementation of feminist law reforms, women in the legal profession and the judiciary, and feminist judging.

Janet Smithson is a social psychologist, and a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter. She has worked on a variety of national and European funded research projects, Her research interests include gender and discourse, work-life practices and policies, life course transitions, interactions in therapy and mediation, and internet-mediated communication.

Jan Ewing is the Shackleton Research Fellow and Creating Paths to Family Justice Research Fellow in the Law School, University of Exeter. Jan was a Research Associate on the preceding ‘Mapping Paths to Family Justice’ project. She was a family law solicitor, including at partnership level, in a career spanning 20 years. She lectures in Family Law on the Legal Practice Course at BPP University. Her PhD at the University of Cambridge was a longitudinal study of 52 couples over the first four years of marriage to examine what drives thriving marriages and what erodes marital satisfaction in this period. 

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £96.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-55405-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £70.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-55404-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mapping Paths to Family Justice
Book Subtitle
Resolving Family Disputes in Neoliberal Times
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-55405-5
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-55405-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-55404-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 240
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations
Topics