Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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The Contemporary Inquest in Context

When a death is investigated by a coroner, what is the place of the family in that process?

This accessibly written book draws together empirical, theoretical and historical perspectives to develop a rich, nuanced analysis of the contemporary inquest system in England and Wales. It investigates theories of kinship drawn from socio-legal research and analyses law, accountability and the legal process.

Excerpts of conversations with coroners and officers offer real insights into how the role of family can be understood and who family is perceived to be, and further, how their participation fundamentally shapes the investigation into a death.

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Author: Lucy Series

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

During the 20th century the locus of care shifted from large institutions into the community. However, this shift was not always accompanied by liberation from restrictive practices. In 2014 a UK Supreme Court ruling on the meaning of ‘deprivation of liberty’ resulted in large numbers of older and disabled people in care homes, supported living and family homes being re-categorized as ‘detained’.

Placing this ruling in its social, historical and global context, this book presents a socio-legal analysis of social care detention in the post-carceral era. Drawing from disability rights law and the meanings of ‘home’ and ‘institution’ it proposes solutions to the Cheshire West ruling’s paradoxical implications.

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A Model for International Reform

The UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty detailed many children’s poor experiences in detention, highlighting the urgent need for reform.

Applying a child-centred model of detention that fulfils the rights of the child under the five themes of provision, protection, participation, preparation and partnership, this original book illustrates how reform can happen. Drawing on Ireland’s experience of transforming law, policy and practice, and combining theory with real-life experiences, this compelling book demonstrates how children’s rights can be implemented in detention.

This important case study of reform presents a powerful argument for a progressive, rights-based approach to child detention. Worthy of international application, the book shares practical insights into how theory can be translated into practice.

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The Need for Reform

Marriage law in England and Wales is a historical relic which reflects a bygone age.

Successive governments have made a series of progressive but ad hoc reforms, most notably the introduction of civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. However, this has resulted in a legal framework which is complex and controversial, especially in relation to religion.

This book provides the first accessible guide to how contemporary marriage law interacts with religion and identifies pressure points in relation to non-religious organisations and unregistered religious marriages. It reveals the need for the consolidation, modernisation and reform of marriage law and sets out proposals for how the transformation of these laws can be achieved.

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Court decisions are typically seen as one-off interventions relating to an incident in a person’s life, but a legal decision can impact on the person as they were and the person they will become.

This book is the first to explore the interactions of the law with the life course in order to understand the complex life journey as a whole.

Jonathan Herring reveals how the law privileges ‘middle age’ to the detriment of the whole life story and explains why an understanding of the life course is important for lawyers.

Relevant to those working in family law, elder law, medical law and ethics, jurisprudence, gender and the law, it will promote new thinking by exploring the engagement of the law with the life course of the self.

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Status, Similarities and Solutions

Cohabiting couples and those entering religious-only marriages all too often end up with inadequate legal protection when the relationship ends. Yet, despite this shared experience, the linkages and overlaps between these two groups have largely been ignored in the legal literature.

Based on wide-ranging empirical studies, this timely book brings together scholars working in both areas to explore the complexities of the law, the different ways in which individuals experience and navigate the existing legal framework and the potential solutions for reform.

Illuminating pressing implications for social policy, this is an invaluable resource for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and students of family law.

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What Would It Mean?

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

The public and parliamentary debate about UK abortion law reform is often diverted away from key moral and political questions by disputes regarding basic questions of fact. And all too often, claims of scientific ‘fact’ are ideologically driven.

But what effect would decriminalisation be likely to have on women’s health? What would be the impact on the incidence of abortions? Would decriminalisation equate to deregulation, sweeping away necessary restrictions on dangerous or malicious conduct?

With each chapter written by leading experts in the fields of medicine, law, reproductive health and social science, this book offers a concise and authoritative account of the evidence regarding the likely impact of decriminalisation of abortion in the UK.

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Embedding a crisis intervention approach within family justice, education and mental health policy
Author: Mervyn Murch

After years of research and reflection on the work of the interdisciplinary family justice system Mervyn Murch offers a fresh approach to supporting the thousands of children every year who experience a complex form of bereavement following parental separation and divorce. This stressful family change, combined with the loss of support due to austerity cuts, can damage their education, well-being, mental health and long-term life chances.

Murch argues for early preventative intervention which responds to children’s worries when they first present them, without waiting until things have gone badly wrong. His radical proposals for reform involve a much more coordinated and joined up approach by schools, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

This book encourages practitioners and academics to look outside their professional silos and to see the world through the eyes of children in crisis to enable services to offer direct support in a manner and at a time when it is most needed.

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