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Child and Family Law Quarterly


"The final professional word for the practitioner in family and child law"

Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers

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Paperback (plus free ePDF of each issue) i

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Child and Family Law Quarterly (CFLQ) contains essential articles and comment on all aspects of family and child law and is available as an online or print subscription.

We are offering the journal in ePDF format for free when you purchase and maintain a print subscription, making the content easier to access. Find out more.

To arrange your FREE 14-day trial to the online service or to find out how a print or online subscription to Child and Family Law Quarterly will benefit your day-to-day work call our account management team today on +44 (0)117 918 1555 or email them at
Edited by leading family law academics, supported by a distinguished editorial board and peer reviewed for excellence, this is an invaluable resource for all practitioners, academics and policy makers both in the UK and abroad.

It provides a unique multi-disciplinary forum for the publication of high quality research material, analysis and commentary and is at the very heart of the debate of all prominent developments in family law today.

It covers such matters as:

  • International family law
  • Child protection
  • Adoption
  • Child support
  • Family finance and property
  • Divorce reform
  • Education
  • Evidence
  • Human rights
  • Welfare benefits
  • Immigration issues
  • Parentage and parental responsibility
Subscribe to Child and Family Law Quarterly and receive:

  • In depth articles written by experts for all relevant disciplines
  • Detailed case commentaries on significant court decisions
  • Latest research findings discussed and analysed in cutting edge reports
  • Four issues a year discussing all important developments with a strong international dimension
Each issue also includes detailed commentaries on significant court decisions which will be invaluable to practitioners and academics alike.

2016 Subscription Information
£225.00 inc print plus a FREE ePDF of each issue
(Postage costs - mainland UK p&p free, non mainland UK p&p + £12.00)
ISSN 1358-8184
4 issues per year
Annual subscription period runs January - December
Vol 27, No 3 [2015]

Special Issue: Family Solidarity

  • Solidarity, autonomy and equality: mixed messages for the family?
    Anne Barlow
  • Family solidarity and the mind-set of private law Tone Sverdrup
  • Substantive parenting arrangements in the USA: unpacking the policy
    choices Margaret F Brinig
  • Fostering family law norms through educational initiatives Marsha Garrison
  • Parenting in step-parent families: legal status versus de facto roles
    M V Antokolskaiak
  • Intergenerational solidarity and elder care in the Low Countries
    Frederik Swennen and Lore Verhaert

Case Commentary

  • Cohabitants, detriment and the potential of proprietary estoppel: Southwell
    v Blackburn [2014] EWCA Civ 1347 Andy Hayward

Book Reviews

  • After Legal Equality: Family, Sex, Kinship, Robert Leckey (eds) Rob George
  • Children: The Modern Law, Andrew Bainham and Stephen Gilmore
    Maebh Harding

Books Received

"It has been 25 years since the “Child and Family Law Quarterly” first appeared and in that time the journal has achieved pre-eminence as one of the leading authorities in Family Law both within the United Kingdom and internationally because the issues are often of global significance and application ... The value of “Child and Family Law Quarterly” lies in its depth, its currency and that special blend of both its practical and the academic aspects which give our professional advice just that extra bit of expertise to keep us at the top of our game ... The Quarterly is a publication that you cannot afford to ignore today as the complexities of family law deepen with the necessary reforms which are taking place nationally and internationally… and you cannot afford to be without it!"
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Read the full review
Watch the full review


Gillian Douglas, Professor of Law, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Jonathan Herring
, Professor of Law, Exeter College, Oxford

Rebecca Probert
, Professor of Law, University of Warwick

Case-Law Editor

Stephen Gilmore, Professor of Family Law, King’s College London

Assistant Editor

Jo Miles, Fellow in Law, Trinity College, Cambridge

Daniel Monk
, Reader in Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Book Reviews Editor

Ruth Lamont
, Senior Lecturer in Child and Family Law, University of Manchester

Editorial Board

Rebecca Bailey-Harris
, Barrister and Professor Emeritus, University of Bristol

Tim Bateman
, Reader in Youth Justice, University of Bedfordshire

Lady Justice Black
, Court of Appeal

Luke Clemens,
Professor of Law, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Baroness Deech of Cumnor

Jane Fortin
, Emeritus Professor of Law, Sussex Law School, University of Sussex

Baroness Hale of Richmond
, Justice of the Supreme Court

Mary Hayes
, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Sheffield

Joan Hunt
, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Rosemary Hunter
, Professor of and Socio-Legal Studies, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London

Nigel Lowe
, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Mr Justice MacDonald,
 Family Division, High Court

Mavis Maclean
, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Sir James Munby
, President of the Family Division

Neil Perot
, Solicitor

Christine Piper
, Professor of Law, Brunel University

Journals Manager

Matthias Mueller

Subscriptions Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)117 918 1492

Vulnerability and capacity to consent to sex – asking the right questions?

Beverley Clough

Vulnerability – Mental Capacity Act 2005 – consent to sex – sexual autonomy – capabilities

The burgeoning body of literature seeking to conceptualise vulnerability has provoked new and interesting perspectives for legal and ethical debates. Commentators are beginning to explore the potential for vulnerability theories in various contexts and to challenge prevailing attitudes and accepted beliefs in doing so. This article seeks to add to this growing body of discourse by examining the recent legal developments in the context of capacity to consent to sexual relations. It will be suggested that, viewed through the lens of vulnerability, the current judicial approach takes a narrow, individualised stance which obscures many of the situational and relational dynamics which interact and shape the landscape of consent to sexual relations. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, it is argued that the current legal response here does not facilitate resilience and sexual autonomy, despite judicial statements to the contrary. Through uncovering the situational and pathogenic factors which are otherwise obscured by an approach hinging on the concept of mental capacity, the vulnerability approach opens up space for debates about the appropriate legal response to foster resilience and capabilities.


Emerging theories on vulnerability have the potential to reinvigorate legal and ethical discourse in various contexts, inviting a shift in thinking away from vulnerability as a characteristic inherent in certain individuals, towards seeing it as a universal concern which impacts on all human beings.1 As Susan Dodds puts it:
‘Attention to vulnerability . . . changes citizen’s ethical relations from those of independent actors carving out realms of rights against each other and the state, to those of mutually-dependent and vulnerable-exposed beings whose capacities to develop as subjects are directly and indirectly mediated by the conditions around them.’

This renewed focus on the universal nature of vulnerability provides the basis for arguments against traditional liberal and individualistic understandings of autonomy as non-interference, and instead pays heed to the fundamental role of relational and situational dynamics in facilitating autonomy and resilience.

Read the full article
The Editors welcome the submission of material for consideration for publication. Material submitted should be original contributions and should not be under consideration for publication in any other journal. Authors should submit a statement to that effect. Substantive guidance may be obtained by contacting the publisher.
All submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Journals Manager:

Contributions can only be accepted provided that all copyright clearances have been obtained by the author.

Submission Format
Material should be supplied electronically. Electronic format is preferred in MS Word for Windows by email. Documents prepared on a Macintosh must be converted for Windows compatibility.

Author's Details
Author's name should appear after the submission title with an asterisk. Your position and affilitiation should appear next to the asterisk above your first footnote at the bottom of the first page of your main text. Full address(es) for receipt of proofs and payment should be given separately.

Proofs, Payment and Offprints
Proofs are sent to the first named author only. It is that author's responsibility to liaise with any co-author(s) with regard to proof corrections. Upon publication each author will be sent a copy of that issue, 25 free offprints, and a letter detailing payment. Payment will be made to the first named author, in full, shortly after receipt of that letter. Again, it is that author's responsibility to split the cheque between any co-author(s).

House Style
The preferred house style is available for download, please click here.

Please note that the CFLQ does NOT use the Harvard style of referencing. Authors should ensure that all citations and references are complete and accurate and that any cross-references to pages or footnotes are completed correctly. In particular, it is important to provide precise page references for all quotations and references to statistics.

The footnote/endnote feature of Microsoft Word for Windows should be used in submitted material.

Open Access policy
Our Open Access policy is fully compliant with policies of both the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) guidelines. For details, please consult the Open Access tab.

Research repositories
Child and Family Law Quarterly is now available on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and HeinOnline. SSRN is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research. HeinOnline is a premier online research product with more than 70 million pages of legal history available in an online, fully-searchable, image-based format.
The expert content of the journal can also be accessed via our online platform
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Open Access policy

Jordan Publishing Ltd is pleased to implement its Open Access policy as follows. Although we primarily publish reference works, we do publish an important scholarly journal, Child and Family Law Quarterly (CFLQ), as part of our portfolio. We are sensitive to the fact that academic authors considering submission to CFLQ are affected by new funding and open access rules, and we wish to support them by removing any barriers to their submitting articles to the journal.

Our Open Access policy is therefore fully compliant with policies of the four Higher Education Funding Councils for the UK and Research Councils UK (RCUK) guidelines. As of 29 July 2014, for qualifying submissions, we will offer a “Green OA” option for authors’ articles upon acceptance, where the author is subject to an open access mandate. Authors will pay no publication fee, and we will make a copy of the published article (“version of record”) freely available on our website after an embargo period consistent with the author’s funding agency’s requirements, under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) licence. We will also provide authors a copy of the accepted manuscript (“post print”) so they can discharge their obligations for deposit in repositories as necessary.

Applicable Open Access coverage

UK-based authors are assumed to be covered by funding from one of the four HK Higher Education Funding Councils, unless they state otherwise when submitting an article. UK-based authors who are also funded by one of the RCUK’s bodies should indicate which on submission. Non-UK based authors should contact the editors to discuss whether any open access mandate may apply. All articles and case commentaries submitted after 29 July 2014 will be covered by the CFLQ open access arrangements. Book reviews are not covered. Authors should contact the editors if they have requests for book reviews to be included.

Deposit guidelines for authors

Once the CFLQ editors accept an article for publication, Jordan Publishing will email the author a copy of the Accepted Manuscript ("post-print") which can be used for deposit in an institutional repository on the conditions that (i) the relevant embargo period is applied to the full text of the article (typically 24 months, or 12 months for AHRC or ESRC funded research), (ii) the article is made available under a CC-BY-NC licence, and (iii) the Publisher's Information at the top of the article is reproduced along with the article's openly available information (which also include title, author names, affiliations and abstract, where available). We advise all authors to consult their institutions for specific advice about Open Access guidelines which apply to them.

Further guidance may be sought from the Journals Manager if necessary.

Matthias Mueller

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