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121 7 Law Definition1 It [the law] is the ultimate source of legitimation of all public action. The different actors are allocated legal resources by all of the general rules of constitutional, civil and public law and by the rules specific to a given sectoral policy. By way of illustration, we can refer here to the right of appeal of NGOs, the rights guaranteed under private law contracts and property rights, the permanent legal basis enabling a public authority to impose speed limits and driving bans (for example, to reduce smog levels in Berlin), the

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201 8 Family Law Introduction At one level it might be thought that family law is the most natural area for a life course approach to be taken. yet it is striking how the term ‘family law’ has become restricted to a very narrow understanding of families and a rather restrained set of issues. For example, older people rarely feature in textbooks on family law, although they play a key role in family life. Similarly, family law still centres on marriage, or marriage- like relationships, with friendships receiving little recognition, although they may be a key

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The word ‘refugee’ is both evocative and contested; it means different things to different people. For lawyers, the main legal reference point is the UN Refugee Convention of 1951.

This concise and engaging book follows the structure of the Convention to explore international refugee law. Including an introduction to the historical and legal context, Colin Yeo draws on his experience as an immigration barrister to explain the present-day legal framework for global refugee protection. Chapters consider:

  • well-founded fear;

  • persecution;

  • the loss of refugee status and exclusion;

  • the rights of refugees;

  • and state responses to refugee claims.

The book includes studies of key legal cases, reviews the successes and failures of the Convention and looks ahead to the future, including the impact of climate change and the Global Compact on Refugees.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists.

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Racial justice is never far from the headlines. The Windrush Scandal, the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston and racism within the police have all recently captured the public’s attention and generated legal action. But, although the ideals of the legal system such as fairness and equality, seem allied to the struggle for racial justice, all too often campaigners have been let down by the system.

This book examines law’s troubled relationship with racial justice. It explains that law’s historical role in creating and perpetuating racial injustices continues to stifle its ability to advance the cause of racial justice today.

Both a lawyer’s guide to anti-racism and an anti-racist’s guide to legal action, it unites these perspectives to help both groups understand how to use the law to tackle racial injustices.

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11 TWO Past and present law Travelling People within the UK have never enjoyed a Golden Age. Although legal restrictions on the Travelling way of life have multiplied over the last hundred years, it is probable that prior legal and extra-legal restrictions were every bit as oppressive. The enclosure of common land undoubtedly affected Travelling People no less than other landless people, as did the more recent decline in demand for manual labour due to farm mechanisation. Social change and legal regulation have inevitably marched together. Their combined

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139 8 GETTING FROM THE STORY OF A DISPUTE TO THE LAW Emily Rose* Introduction What is your approach to giving employment advice? Responses to this question from specialist and generalist advisers, as well as solicitors working with the Citizens Advice service, emphasised a particular process. While the advice interview must start with the client’s story, this initial narrative account represents only the first step; it is in what comes after this that the critical work of advice is achieved. In this chapter I explore how advisers move from the story of a

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147 9 “ADVICE ON THE LAW BUT NOT LEGAL ADVICE SO MUCH”: WEAVING LAW AND LIFE INTO DEBT ADVICE Samuel Kirwan* Second unsupervised interview. Client had come in with water debt, but then mentioned that she had an unpaid Council Tax Bill. She was visibly upset when I explained the importance of engaging with this. Had a sudden, strong feeling of how easy it is to end up in this position, where outgoings are so much more than income, where it’s impossible to imagine how you can afford to meet ongoing bills, and have difficulty opening the post. (Field Diary

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PART II Reforming the Criminal Law

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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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Introduction This chapter turns to the question of reform, proposing specific reform proposals showing in detail how the consolidation, simplification and modernisation of the law on intimate adult relationships should be achieved. These will rest on our two points of principle. The first is that the legal redress should be provided to those in unregistered religious marriages where the failure to comply with registration requirements is unwitting or is not truly voluntary by one of the parties. The second is that non-religious ceremonies including those

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