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Title: Family law without lawyers - A systems theory perspective
Authors: Barnett, A
Keywords: Child arrangements/contact;Domestic violence;Autopoietic systems theory;Litigants in person;Family lawyers
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, (2017)
Abstract: Prior to the loss of legal aid for many litigants in private law Children Act proceedings occasioned by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, family lawyers were observed to pressurise victims of domestic violence to agree to unsafe contact orders. Drawing on Luhmann’s theory of autopoietic social systems, this article suggests that, since April 2013, family lawyers have been repositioned as the champions of victims of domestic violence, and considers what this tells us about the way in which family law is observed to operate without lawyers in many cases. It suggests that the problems that LIPs create for the orderly running of proceedings and the continued operations of the legal system have led to a perceived crisis for justice, but that family law is likely to survive without lawyers in many cases, although little change can be observed in the substantive law.
ISSN: 0964-9069
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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