Singapore University of Social Sciences

Family Law and the Family Justice Courts - 2

Family Law and the Family Justice Courts - 2 (LAW327)


LAW327 Family Law and the Family Justice Courts - 2 introduces students to how the law regulates parenting, how it protects children, the provision of maintenance by parents and selected non-parents, the legitimacy or otherwise of the parent-child relationship, the adoption of children and orders of guardianship and custody made between parents or for non-parents. While parents are the main caregivers of their children, it is not impossible for non-parents to also become involved. Substantive family law needs to provide sound principles of how such nonparents qualify to be bestowed with legal authority over someone else’s child and, where this happens, how the parents and the selected non-parents should behave towards each other as persons with legal authority over the same child. The Family Justice Courts buttress these sound principles by differentiating, or not, between parents and selected non-parents in access to the courts and in what forms of orders each may seek. LAW327 continues to introduce both substantive law regulating these areas and the Family Justice Courts providing relief to family members who have disputes with one another. Each topic is presented so the students gain a holistic view of how substantive law regulates while the courts buttress the law by providing relief in disputes. From studying both law and procedure in an integrated manner, students gain an appreciation of the ethics of caring that permeate the jurisprudence of parental responsibility within substantive family law as well as therapeutic justice meted out by the Family Justice Courts. By this holistic treatment, students gain some familiarity with statutory provisions as well as court rules, court documents and processes.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 10
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Development of the concept of parental responsibility in Singapore and abroad
  • The Family Justice Courts’ core ideal that parties in court must bear in mind the well-being of an affected child within therapeutic justice
  • How non-parents become bestowed with legal authority over someone else’s child and the extension of parental responsibility to selected non-parents
  • Legal regulation of parenting including protection from family violence
  • Parental alienation of child, child abduction across borders and parental re-location with child
  • Status of legitimacy or otherwise of parental relationship with child including legal determination of parentage in assisted reproduction
  • Appointment of non-parent as guardian and how to regulate guardians
  • Parental provision of maintenance to dependent child
  • Provision of maintenance to dependent child by selected non-parent
  • Court orders of custody, care and control and specific issues
  • Adoption
  • Public care of child

Learning Outcome

  • Indicate the various sources of the relevant law, how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law
  • Demonstrate understanding of legal concepts, values, principles and procedures of Singapore law and explain the relationship between them in a number of subject areas, as well as to apply them
  • Analyse fact patterns to identify relevant issues of law, fact and procedure
  • Interpret the relevant rule of substantive law, procedure or evidence relevant to the issues identified
  • Apply the relevant laws and principles to come to a conclusion on the issues
  • Formulate an opinion, provide a solution and advise based on the conclusions
  • Discuss critically, competing arguments in literature or in a group situation and make a reasoned choice between alternatives
  • Examine ideas, concepts and arguments in the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy
  • Employ information technology in an office environment for the search for information, the preparation of documents and presentations
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