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LS4529: FAMILY LAW (HONOURS) (2016-2017)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course considers a number of important topics in contemporary Scots family law. An underlying theme is whether the law in these areas is satisfactory or in need of reform, and what shape reform might take. Topics include; domestic violence, same-sex relationships the welfare test, divorce law, family mediation, assisted reproduction, adoption and international family relocation. There is a comparative element to some of the seminar topics as relevant Scots law is compared with the position in England and/or other common law jurisdictions. The effects on Scots family law of the European Convention of Human Rights are also explored. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Katarina Trimmings

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either LS2503 Family Law (Passed) or LS2526 Family Law (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Law (LS) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims

The course aims to provide a deeper and more critical analysis of certain topics that are covered in the level 2 course of Family Law, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary Scots Family Law, to consider proposals for improving family law (drawing upon the experience of other jurisdictions where appropriate), to improve students’ research and writing skills through essay work, and to develop a range of important intellectual and transferable skills.

Main Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of why Scots family law has developed in the way that it has and an appreciation of some of the current debates in contemporary family law, including a coverage of divorce law reform, same-sex relationships the resolution of residence and contact disputes in respect of children and the issue of legal parentage in cases involving assisted reproduction.

Knowledge and Understanding

Students will be able to apply the knowledge to specific legal questions of a complex nature and evaluate different approaches to such problems in the areas they have studied.

Subject Specific Skills and Concepts

Students will acquire the understanding of the current issues in Scottish family law.

Key Skills (Transferable)

Students will be able to:
  • Distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant;
  • Synthesise issues;
  • Develop critical judgment;
  • Analyse issues;
  • Problem solve;
  • Argue logically;
  • Think conceptually;
  • Communicate clearly, both orally and in writing;
  • Use feedback to reflect upon their understanding of the subject; and
  • Use the www to retrieve relevant materials. Content:
  • The evolution of contemporary Scots family law;
  • The welfare principle in resolving parental disputes over children (in particular in relation to international family relocation;
  • Legal parentage in cases involving assisted reproduction (in particular surrogacy);
  • Relocation and contact orders;
  • Divorce law reform;
  • Adoption.

  • Contact Teaching Time

    Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

    Teaching Breakdown

    More Information about Week Numbers

    Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

    Summative Assessments

    1st Attempt

    1 three-hour examination (75%) and a 2,000 word essay (25%).



    Formative Assessment

    There are no assessments for this course.


    Feedback will be provided on the feedback form within three weeks from the date of submission.

    Course Learning Outcomes


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