Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Archive for November 8th, 2019

Blurring Boundaries Between: Nations, Sacred and Secular, Public and Private; Continually Infusing More Social Science into (=Diluting) Law. For example ℅ Nuffield Fndt’n, or Oxford Univ. Press’s ‘International Journal of Family Law, Policy and Social Science’ (Nov. 8, 2019)

leave a comment »

ANY post may be further edited (as in, condensed, or expanded, or both) after publishing.  Blogger’s privilege, and at times, necessity!

You are reading:

Blurring Boundaries Between: Nations, Sacred and Secular, Public and Private; Continually Infusing More Social Science into (=Diluting) Law. For example ℅ Nuffield Fndt’n, or Oxford Univ. Press’s ‘International Journal of Family Law, Policy and Social Science’ (Nov. 8, 2019).” (Short-link ends “-bxq”), as moved about 2,500 words, as published, about 7,000).

Lifted verbatim from a footnote at this Sticky Post (currently third from the top of this blog):

Acknowledgements, Executive Summary (Current Projects | Rolling Blackouts) and What Makes This Blog “What You Need to Know” (July 31, 2019). (Shortlink ends “-auh”, marked sticky, this is currently 9,900 words.  That includes two lengthy footnotes, one of which I expect to remove to its own post.)

There, this section was a second footnote, labeled:

THIS FOOTNOTE IS LIKELY TO BECOME ITS OWN POST (IDEALLY, SOON…)

“…resulting from my curiosity about a journal I’d just discovered and the specific USA “Overseas Advisors,” —  “FOOTNOTE: NUFFIELD FOUNDATION (involvement in Family Law-related projects, UK).”  The second footnote** I hope to off-ramp to its own post in the near future. (Hope =/= Guarantee, however….).

and, within that footnote:

WELL, I CERTAINLY LEARNED A FEW THINGS IN JUST LOOKING UP THREE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS HERE!  (Aug. 2, 2019). Probably going to move this section soon to a new post.

(**The first footnote dealt with pending Family Court-related legislation in Pennsylvania in which, “surprise, surprise,” the same professionals had managed to get their [pages] words in, somehow, despite not being listed even as witnesses on the testimony hearings at the time…For details, see originating post shown above).

This material stems from simple search results which led to a journal article.   International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family (Oxford Academic) (Introducing Social Science Evidence in Family Court Decision-making and Adjudication: Evidence from England and Wales.  (John Eekelaar is one of its two editors listed)

(Editors: Mr John Eekelaar Pembroke College, Oxford, UK and Professor Robert Dingwall, Dingwall Enterprises/ Nottingham Trent University, UK).  Quick look at the latter: shows a career academic, now a consulting sociologist (and professor):

Robert Dingwall draws on more than forty years’ experience as an academic researcher studying health care, legal services, and science and technology policy at the Universities of Aberdeen, Oxford and Nottingham. Over that time, he has held grants and contracts worth more than £6 million (at 2016 prices) in total from the Leverhulme and Wellcome Trusts, ESRC, NERC, MRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, the EU, the UK Department of Health and various NHS/NIHR programmes, the Ministry of Justice, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Food Standards Agency. These have resulted in 30 books and more than 100 scientific papers. Robert Dingwall is also an experienced manager: he served for five years as head of a large social science department and founded and directed what was one of Europe’s leading research institutes in science and technology studies for 12 years. He retains an academic association as a part-time professor in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University.

And in referencing (this is a sub-menu on the website) how he ran across the “sociology of law” — when ran into John Eekelaar, a family lawyer; “very crudely” summarized as …everything to do with the law that is not criminal, although there is some overlap in areas like regulation….

I (Dingwall) stumbled into this field because the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies wanted to develop some research on court decision-making in cases of child abuse and neglect, led by a family lawyer, John Eekelaar. My PhD research on health visitors had given me a detailed knowledge of the agencies with whom the legal system interacted in these circumstances. Together, John and I developed one of the largest ethnographic studies ever carried out in the UK, tracing child protection cases from the initial sifting of families by frontline workers in various health and social service organizations through to the disposals reached in court hearings. In contrast to many activist claims at the time, we showed that the system had a strong bias against compulsory interventions, like the removal of children. This reflected the fundamental tension between child protection and family privacy at the heart of liberal democratic ideals. Our work had a strong impact on the Children Act 1989 and key concepts like the ‘rule of optimism’ continue to be employed – often inaccurately – by reports on the deaths of children as a result of maltreatment.

At the end of this project, I became involved in three other lines of work that occupied me for much of the next decade: a conversation analytic study of the emerging practice of divorce mediation; a study of asbestos disease litigation, led by WLF Felstiner of the American Bar Foundation; and a programme of studies on law and health care…

Google search link for one of only six “sample publications” shown, I copied from this website: “(D. Greatbatch and R. Dingwall) ‘The marginalization of domestic violence in divorce mediation’, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 1999, 13; 2: 17490. This shows the journal goes back at least to 1999.  I also found one (publ. 1989) published in  AFCC’s  mouthpiece, “Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 1990“, as seen on this page (not including my emphases):

(D. Greatbatch and R. Dingwall) ‘Selective facilitation: some preliminary observations on a strategy used by divorce mediators’Law and Society Review, 1989, 23; 4: 61341.  Reprinted in abridged and edited form in Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 1990, 28; 1: 5364.  Reprinted in C. Menkel Meadow, ed., Mediation: Theory, Policy and Practice, Aldershot, Ashgate, (2001).


Theme from my originating July 31, 2019 (Sticky) post (-auh) for Nov. 8, 2019 post (-bxq)

I knew while writing the original material as a post footnote that it should be featured more directly, soon.  Here it is.

While this post has images, they’re mostly screenshots of other printed documents (websites). If as a reader your need and desire today is for brighter colors, catchy icons, big logos cartoons, or photographic head-shots, to grab or hold your attention, pick a different post: this one features almost exclusively words, most of them assembled into long sentences.


 

The situation illustrates that journals (here, published by Oxford University itself — Oxford University Press is a Department of the University) can and do pick and choose their “international” experts according to shared value systems, whether or not in the home countries these individuals might be considered fair, neutral, or unbiased. At the time (last summer) I looked up every single one of the “overseas advisors” (shown below)… but have only posted here on those from the USA.

“Oxford University Press Is” statement at bottom of Journal page..

The post also references a sponsoring foundation (Nuffield), and in passing, the Wellcome Trust (archives of influential group psychotherapist and his wife, which directly connects to establishment of child psychiatry in Canada, to family law, domestic violence prevention, and (as this one turned out) the Association of Family and Conciliation Court (“AFCC”)’s role in all of the above) but the main focus here is on the journal and its USA editors.

Here, out of all professors sharing an interest in this topic across the United States, they have chosen three (two men and one woman) who share specific beliefs about fathers’ rights, at least two a shared religion, and the woman, with powerful prestige (you’ll see), also openly anti-feminist and who:

was named to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope St. John Paul II in 1994… [cite, below on this post]

PASS (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences) Wiki (top summary), viewed Nov. 8, 2019

I see that “PASS” (its acronym) was established only in 1994 (see nearby image) and that this woman was listed among (very few women) “Former Academicians” some of which have Wikipedia pages, some which do not.  Of those which do, Nußberger from Germany (doctorate obtained 1993), …

From 1993 to 2001, Nußberger worked at the Max Planck Society Institute for International and Comparative Social Law, including a period as visiting researcher at Harvard University from 1994 to 1995. From 2001 to 2002, she worked as a legal adviser at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

In 2002, Nußberger achieved her habilitation, the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve in Germany, with a thesis on public international law.

A few “former academicians” seem to have been women.  Of the current 27 ‘Academicians‘ listed alphabetically on PASS’s own website, I found only three women. They were from (in alpha order) England, Spain, and Norway (a Dame of Malta).  Also of interest, the American Joseph E. Stiglitz (b. 1943) at Columbia University.  The provision is for no less than 20 or more than 40, total.  Some (not many) are from the USA.

United States concerned citizens should notice how academics whose views run contrary to basic concepts of law and individual rights under it have sought publication abroad, while welcoming editors from abroad to lead (in a similar-themed journal) journals labeled American (specific example in this post, I’ve mentioned it before on blog).

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: