Expanding the Concept of the Shadow of the Law in Family Dispute Resolution

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional

Abstract

[Extract]
The literature on informal dispute resolution and family law has long recognised the influence of the shadow of the law on legal option generation and negotiations outside the courtroom. The term ‘shadow of the law’ was first coined by Robert Mnookin and Lewis Kornhauser in an influential 1979 article in the Yale Law Journal. They used the term to refer to the impact of substantive law on informal negotiations and dispute resolution processes, with particular emphasis on family law matters.[1] Even in informal dispute resolution contexts, Mnookin and Kornhauser observed, the law still provides the implicit backdrop and framework for negotiations.

Later authors have added sophistication and depth to Mnookin and Kornhauser’s analysis.[2] None of this research, however, directly answers the question of how participants in family dispute resolution in the current digital age source their information about the legal context. A recent article by Rachael Field, Lisa Toohey, Helen Partridge, Lynn McAllister and myself sets out to explore this issue through an empirical study of participants in family dispute resolution.[3] The information gathered through this research helps us to better understand the sense in which family dispute resolution may be said to take place in the shadow of the law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Dispute Resolution Research Network Blog
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Expanding the Concept of the Shadow of the Law in Family Dispute Resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this