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Title: British conservatism and the legal regulation of intimate adult relationships, 1983-2013
Author: Gilbert, A. N.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2430 1658
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is a critical legal study of family lawmaking. Drawing on an understanding of conservatism based principally on the work of Edmund Burke and Michael Oakeshott, this work examines the two (apparent?) tensions of liberty and authority in the context of British conservatism and the legal regulation of intimate adult relationships since the 1980s. The dissertation divides into two parts. The first part reviews the literature on theoretical approaches to family law, before going on to construct a conservative disposition towards the legal regulation of intimate adult relationships. The second part comprises an interpretive analysis of the discourse around the genesis and development of four family law statutes, namely the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, the Family Law Act 1996, the Civil Partnership Act 2004, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Taken as a whole, the statutes examined in part two constitute a case study in one discrete area of lawmaking against which to consider a conservative approach to family law, all located within the broader debate around the functions of family law. The final chapter concludes that, while I have uncovered examples of consistency and divergence between conservatism and the Conservative Party position on the legal regulation of intimate adult relationships, the core challenge for British conservatism remains how to manage change. For various reasons it might be unwise to predict the Party's demise any time soon. However, unless modern conservatism deploys less onerous hurdles to reforming the law, I am less sanguine about the future of conservatism as a political idea which has any practical significance for lawmakers.
Supervisor: Diduck, A. ; Freeman, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available