Restorative justice & family abuse: extending a socio-legal approach to cases of forced marriage in Scotland

Gaw, Cameron J. (2022) Restorative justice & family abuse: extending a socio-legal approach to cases of forced marriage in Scotland. LL.M(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis offers a comprehensive assessment of the theoretical and practical connections between restorative justice and forced marriage from a Scottish perspective. Existing legal models aimed at addressing Scotland’s forced marriage problem are focused on punitive sanctions and extracting victims from their abusive familial and community environments. It is argued that this top-down regulatory framework is falling short in several respects, leaving significant numbers of victims without legal protection. Recent evidence suggests some welfare organisations in Scotland are prepared to offer restorative and mediatory practices as alternative interventions despite significant opposition. In parallel, the Scottish Government’s recent commitment to a national model of restorative justice has yet to consider potential inclusion of forced marriage cases and implications for those involved.

The aim of this thesis is twofold: to assess the potential benefits of restorative practice as an alternative legal approach to forced marriage; and consider how these cases might be incorporated within Scotland’s national restorative justice strategy. Chapter one outlines the broader context to these developments and draws key boundaries in conceptualising restorative justice. An assessment of Scots forced marriage law is offered in Chapter two, followed by an overview of existing and prospective restorative justice landscapes in Chapter three. Chapter four considers the positioning of forced marriage within the surrounding feminist literature on restorative justice, reframing the existing discourse. Chapter five analyses how a restorative approach might address some of the crucial conceptual concerns of forced marriage through dialogic engagement, taking note of important feminist insights for addressing power imbalances and instilling victim safety. Discussion concludes in Chapter six with key considerations for a more desirable professional response to forced marriage through restorative practice. The overall objective is to demonstrate how the positioning of these cases within a socio-legal framework of restorative justice might extend protection to a great number of victims and offer fuller appreciation of the cultural and collectivist contexts within which minority individuals exercise marital autonomy.

Item Type: Thesis (LL.M(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Belton, Ms. Felicity
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83089
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2022 10:51
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83089

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