Semple (2012) identifies what he calls family law's ‘settlement mission'. This paper suggests that, while not necessarily problematic per se, because the settlement mission in the family justice system is increasingly driven by an ADR that has, in effect, come to mean ‘autonomous dispute resolution', it runs the risk of failing to meet standards of justice or fairness central to the rule of law and contemporary social values. It looks at what the author means by ‘autonomous dispute resolution' and suggests that in the context of many family legal disputes it may be the less rather than the more appropriate aim to pursue.
The full version of this article appears in the May 2014 Special Issue of Family Law.
The Special Issue contains papers from the recent Family Justice Council Interdisciplinary Conference - Family Justice Redefined? The Conference considered the changing nature of family justice following reforms, both those already in place and those that are anticipated, as well as access to justice in particular, making the Special Issue essential reading in the face of the forthcoming changes.
The Special Issue will be available to purchase as a ePDF. For more information please contact Ash Dickinson at 0117 918 1294.
For all the information regarding the forthcoming family law reforms, visit our new, fully up-to-date Family Law Reform page with all the latest news, analysis, legislation and cases.