Family Law in Practice: A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court


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Description

Author: Carol Coulter

Publication Date: March 2009
About
Family Law in Practice: A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court is the first book to examine the workings of the Irish family law courts. Prior to the implementation in 2005 of the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 the courts could not be accessed by researchers for the purposes of reporting on and seeking to examine how family law worked in practice, due to the operation of the in camera rule. This was changed by the 2004 Act, permitting access to the family courts by bona fide family law researchers.
This book examines empirical data from court files and the author’s personal observations from court proceedings, using both statistical and legal analysis. It is set within the context of international and Irish literature on the theory and practice of family law, but acknowledges the elementary need for basic primary research in an Irish context.
The research on which most of this thesis is based was carried out in the courts in the 2006/2007 legal year, and involved attendance at Circuit Court venues hearing family law around the State, and the examination of the files of all family law cases concluded in the Circuit Court.
Family Law in Practice: A study of Cases in the Circuit Court outline trends in the practice of family law in the courts relating to the likelihood of settlement, the issues most likely to be contentious and the outcomes both in settled and in contested cases. Common assumptions about the family law system in the context of the facts are questioned and found to be misplaced. The identification of flaws in the family law system is highlighted as are recommendations for the future.
About the Author
Dr Carol Coulter is the editor of the Law Matters page and journalist in the Irish Times.
Contents Include
INTRODUCTION
Reform of the In Camera Rule
Anonymity of the Parties
Rules of Court
Methodology of this Thesis
CHAPTER 1
REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND NOTES ON METHODOLOGY
The International Context
Function Of Family Law
The Influence Of Feminism
Work On Irish Family Law
In Camera Rule
Methodology
CHAPTER 2
OUTCOMES AS RECORDED IN COURTS SERVICE
Dublin Circuit Court
Cork Circuit Court
South-West Circuit Courts
Eastern Circuit Courts
South-Eastern Circuit Courts
Northern Circuit Courts
Western Circuit Courts
Midland Circuit Courts
Some National Trends
CHAPTER 3
HOW FAMILY LAW WORKS IN PRACTICE
Legislation
Children
Maintenance and Other Financial Matters
Family Home
Conduct
Findings of the Study
CHAPTER 4
SOME CONCLUSIONS ON THE IRISH FAMILY LAW SYSTEM
District Court
Appeal to Circuit Court
Judicial Review in the High Court
Judicial Separation and Divorce
Mediation
Legal Aid
Collaborative Law
Family Law Proceedings—The Procedure
The Hearing
Applications for Custody and Maintenance
Flaws In The System
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Findings Of The Study
Suggestions For Change

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