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Official, Operative and Outsider Justice: The Ties That (May Not) Bind in Family Financial Disputes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-378
Number of pages20
JournalChild and Family Law Quarterly
Issue number4
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Sep 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2017


Child and Family Law Quarterly, December 2017: Settlement between individuals on relationship breakdown has received increasing attention in recent years with the promotion of autonomy and private ordering underlining this trend suggests that the conception of justice on family separation varies depending on the nature of the dispute and the route to settlement. A paradigm of justice can be identified with three conceptual spaces starting to emerge: official, operative and outsider justice. Drawing on this framework, this article argues that most individuals’ experience of family disputes is via outsider justice – where family law and legal rules may have little impact on the outcome of disputes and family law may become a simplified version of its former self. This article draws on the author’s various empirical studies to examine how specific discourse on private ordering and settlement shapes this justice paradigm in family finances.

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