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2014 Press Releases

Book lifts lid on Family Law

6 Feb 2014

The launch of a book on Family Law this Thursday by Dr Louise Crowley is timely given the recent publication of the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014.

Family Law, a new book by Dr Louise Crowley, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law UCC, represents a culmination of almost 20 years of research on all aspects of family law. To mark this, a launch organised by UCC in partnership with Thomson Reuters Roundhall takes place this Thursday 6th February at 6-7.30pm in the Staff Common Room (please RSVP to Astrid McLaughlin on 01 602 4820 or E: His Honour Judge David Riordan, Judge of the Circuit Court will launch the book in the company of UCC colleagues, members of the judiciary, the Southern Law Association and the Bar, as well as family and friends. 

The book presents a comprehensive analysis of Irish family law and outlines the hugely significant progress that has been made by Irish law and policy makers since the express protection of the marital family in the Constitution and the early statutory interventions in the mid 1970s. The aim of this book is to provide a detailed and critical overview of Irish family law in a modern multi-cultural society where the limited concept of rights holders has shifted from the traditional family based on marriage to a developing legal framework which expressly protects all parties irrespective of the nature of their familial relationships.

Additionally, from a pro-active perspective, the child now finally has a constitutional basis for the assertion of rights and no longer absolutely defers to the choices made by his/her parents. These developments, together with the proposed Constitutional referendum on the equal right to marriage in 2015 represent the real and very welcome modernisation of Irish family law.

Over the last 25 years the legal landscape of Irish family law has changed profoundly, giving rise to a comprehensively structured regulatory framework that governs multiple family formations, with respect to their composition, operation and dissolution. These reforms have taken place against a background of significant societal change resulting in a more progressive view of the concept of the family and the associated structure of rights attaching to all parties to a family unit, whatever its formation and composition.

This has culminated in the publication last week of the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014 which proposes the creation of a legal structure to recognise diverse parenting situations and to finally provide clarity and equality as to the rights and duties of parents in diverse family forms. It is hoped that these individual substantive legal developments and the welcome restructuring of Irish the family courts system will contribute to the more effective resolution of the often multi-faceted issues arising in the family law context.  If enacted, the proposed laws will allow for parental rights and responsibilities to be accorded to persons other than the natural parents of a child and in particular will regulate the position in respect of children born through assisted human reproduction and surrogacy. Additionally the position of step parents and civil partners will finally be addressed.

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