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What does conservatism, as a body of political thought, say about the legal regulation of intimate relationships, and to what extent has this thought influenced the Conservative Party’s approach to family law? With this question as its focus, this book explores the relationship between family law, conservatism and the Conservative Party over the last generation.
Taking a politico- and socio-legal perspective, the discussion draws on an expansive reading of Hansard as well as recently released archival material. The study first sets out the political tradition of conservatism relying largely on the work of Edmund Burke, before going on to analyse the discourse around the development of four crucial statutes in the field, 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.
This work offers the first extended synthesis of family law, conservative political thought and Conservative Party politics, and as such provides significant new insight into how family law is made.