The impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on UK family law : doctrine, theory and gender
My work in the field of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and domestic family law grew out of concern as to whether the so-called 'paramountcy principle' contained in the Children Act 1989 (CA 1989) was compatible with the ECHR as incorporated by the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). My first examination of its compatibility took place within the context of the extension of the paramountcy principle from private law children proceedings to public law adoption proceedings by the Adoption and Children Act 2002. This evolved into a larger and more detailed analysis with Professor Helen Fenwick, an expert in the field of human rights, of the compatibility of the principle in both private and public law proceedings under the CA 1989 within the broader context of the merits of adopting a rights-based approach to applications by parents under the act. This also examined in detail what I considered to be a great deal of sceptism about the adoption of a rights based approach and the possible reasons for it within the domestic family law field. After this, I was able to provide a detailed analysis of the merits of adopting a rights based approach to the issue of domestic violence with Professor Jonathan Herring in two further publications. All of these publications therefore form part of the body of work on which the PhD is based.