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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161551 Find in a Library
Title: Power of Law (From Criminological Perspectives: A Reader, P 423-431, 1996, John Muncie, Eugene McLaughlin, and Mary Langan, eds. -- See NCJ-161531)
Author(s): C Smart
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications Ltd
London, EC2A 4PU, England
Sale Source: Sage Publications Ltd
6 Bonhill Street
London, EC2A 4PU,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This essay uses two British cases to examine whether family issues are moving outside the domain of law, whether law retains its sovereignty, or whether law is changing the way in which it exercises power in this field, becoming more like the human sciences in the technologies of power it uses.
Abstract: The first example involves a case of adoption following a surrogacy arrangement in the United Kingdom. This case illustrates the process whereby law extends its influence into more and more personal or private areas of life. In this respect, law is exercising a model of disciplinary regulation. In this endeavor, law incorporates the terms of the discourses of the human sciences and extends its exercise of power to include the new technologies. Hence, the law retains its "old" power to extend rights while exercising new manifestations of power in the form of surveillance and modes of discipline. The second case involves an abortion in which there was a disagreement between the pregnant woman and the putative father as to whether there should be a medical termination. This case involved the court's reliance upon medical knowledge to determine whether or not a law had been violated. The author argues that conflicts between persons are increasingly being resolved under the rubric of law as the court relies upon medical knowledge to resolve personal and family conflicts. 9 references
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Family courts; Jurisprudence; Sociology of law
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Abridged from "Feminism and the Power of Law," P 7-20, 1989.
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