Instructor(s): Professor S. Kierstead
Description: The course is intended to offer an overview of family law and to provide a foundation for later, more specialized seminars or research projects. It provides an introduction to some of the issues and problems relating to law and the family, focusing on three contexts: the creation of the family unit, the regulation of the ongoing family, and issues arising at family breakdown. Topics to be explored include marriage, reproduction, adoption, child care, family violence, child protection, divorce, property, support, domestic contracts, custody and access, and dispute resolution.
The course is taught from a critical and policy-oriented perspective. Throughout the course, we will examine the assumptions of gender, class, race, religion and sexual orientation on which family law is based, and consider the appropriateness of these assumptions.
The objective of the course is to provide a social, political and economic context within which legislative policies and judicial approaches can be understood and assessed. Particular attention will be paid to current provincial and federal law reform initiatives relating to the legal regulation of the family.
Evaluation: 10% participation; a two hour exam worth 65%; and an in-term assignment worth 25%.