Category Archives: Family Law

Jessica Roberts, ‘Genetic Conversion’

ABSTRACT Traditionally, courts and legal scholars alike have rejected conversion claims related to DNA. Justifications for dismissing these causes of action include fears that they could hinder scientific research or commodify the human body. Judges and academics reason that – even absent actionable claims for genetic conversion – plaintiffs have access to adequate legal protections […]

‘Righting Wrongful Birth’

Sofia Yakren, ‘Wrongful Birth’ Claims and the Paradox of Parenting a Child with a Disability, 87 Fordham Law Review 593 (2018). Discussions of limits on women’s reproductive choice these days most often focus on legislative efforts to curtail that choice by narrowly limiting abortion access. Sofia Yakren’s new article reminds us that medical malfeasance in […]

Leslie Katz, ‘The Testamentary Condition in Restraint of Marriage Essential to the Plot of Our Mutual Friend’

ABSTRACT Essential to the plot of Our Mutual Friend was a condition in a will made by John Harmon the elder, although it transpires that the will containing that condition was afterwards superseded. The condition was that, before obtaining his entitlement under the will, John Harmon the younger marry Bella Wilfer. The paper discusses the […]

A Comparative Approach to Inheritance Rights of Cohabitants: Filippo Viglione, IALS, 16 May 2019

In this seminar Filippo Viglione will discuss the various solutions being adopted with regard to the legal consequences of non-marital cohabitations, specifically in relation to inheritance rights and he will compare the different models that are gaining ground in the western legal tradition, allowing protection of the surviving cohabitant’s succession beyond the possibility of inheriting […]

Alexander Chrysanthou, ‘Reliance and representations/promises in frozen embryo disputes: UK and Israeli approaches to estoppel’

ABSTRACT Frozen embryo disputes are hard cases since providing the decision over whether or not to become a parent/dispose of the embryo(s) to one gamete provider in the way he/she wishes denies the other an equivalent decision. In response, estoppel, it is argued, can provide a doctrinally robust response due to its flexibility in deeming […]

Brenda Hale, ‘Principle and Pragmatism in Developing Private Law’

The 2019 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled ‘Principle and Pragmatism in Developing Private Law’ was delivered by Lady Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, on 7 March 2019 (video, transcript).

Tracey Tomlinson, ‘Negligent Disruption of Genetic Planning: Carving Out A New Tort Theory to Address Novel Questions Of Liability in an Era of Reproductive Innovation’

INTRODUCTION In March 2017, the Singapore Court of Appeal awarded damages for a previously unarticulated tort – the ‘loss of genetic affinity’. In the case before the Court, a husband and wife underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, and subsequently delivered a baby girl (Baby P). Several months after the birth of Baby P, the parents […]

Maria Hook, ‘A First Principles Approach to Couples’ Property in the Conflict of Laws’

ABSTRACT This article asks how the conflict of laws should approach couples’ property as a matter of first principles, by reference to the law of New Zealand. It argues that lawmakers should make full use of the pluralist potential of general conflict of laws methodology, engaging in an explicit evaluation of the many – often […]

‘Lessons Learned From Abroad About Intestate Inheritances for Unmarried Cohabitants’

E Gary Spitko, Intestate Inheritance Rights for Unmarried Committed Partners: Lessons for US Law Reform from the Scottish Experience, 103 Iowa Law Review 2175 (2018). In 2002, Professor Spitko published An Accrual/Multi-Factor Approach to Intestate Inheritance Rights for Unmarried Committed Partners in the Oregon Law Review. Since then, in 2006, Scotland statutorily began to provide […]

Christopher Turnbull, ‘Family Law Property Settlements: A Liberal Theoretical Framework for Law Reform’

ABSTRACT This article sets out a law reform framework for family property settlements, drawn expressly from a theoretical foundation. It applies Rawls’ theory of justice, which falls under a liberal philosophical umbrella. It explains the choice of a liberal theory for use in family property settlements and constituent elements of Rawls’ theory of justice. Drawn […]