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  • Author or Editor: Patrick Nash x
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This chapter looks at the inadequacies of English law and notes their needless complexity. It criticises Akhter v Khan and suggests that reform guided by nudge theory offers a promising solution. It then makes the case for moving towards a minimalistic law of marriage.

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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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This introductory chapter focusses on the status of cohabitants and those in religious only marriages, the similarities in how they are treated by the law and the potential solutions that could be adopted. It shows that law reform is needed in the light of new and evolving relationship norms and the poor outcomes on relationship breakdown for all cohabiting couples, including those in religious-only marriages. It considers legal solutions which fall broadly within two categories: (1) amend wedding laws to facilitate simpler procedures for legal recognition thereby encouraging more couples to legally marry; and (2) extend family law rights available to all legally recognised couples to include those in cohabiting relationships.

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This chapter sums up the state of debate in the field. It highlights the problems with the current law as discussed throughout the book and emphasises the need for major reform. It ends on an optimistic note by drawing attention to the current Law Commission project to design effective marriage laws.

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Sufficient, well-maintained housing infrastructure can support healthy living practices for hygiene, safety and nutrition. This article focuses on the relationship between housing and health through a case study in the remote Barkly region in the Northern Territory, Australia. A research partnership between Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation and academic researchers employed a mixed methodological approach, involving interviews with residents, clinical and outreach staff, and clinical database analysis. The results revealed much higher levels of crowding in remote communities and in Tennant Creek than officially recorded, with up to 22 residents in surveyed households. Interviews with clinicians and public health staff highlighted the impact of crowding on infection transmission, poor sleep and reduced personal safety, and damage to health hardware. The database analysis detailed the types of preventable, hygiene-related infectious diseases that dominated, with over half of the total infectious disease diagnoses being skin, respiratory and ear, nose and throat infections. Repeated infection likely contributes to increased rates of chronic kidney and rheumatic heart diseases. The combined overall findings highlight the parallel conditions of the prevalence of hygiene-related infectious diseases, crowding and environmental health issues (including health hardware). No objective evidence of direct causal relationships was obtained due to the small scale and methodological limitations of the study. More complex future research is outlined in order to understand how to further investigate the burden of disease that the affects morbidity and mortality of Aboriginal Australians, and underlies the urgency for housing policy reform and funding to upgrade housing.

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