LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)

Module Convenors:
Professor Alison Diduck
Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin

Other teachers:
Noam Peleg
Maria Federica Moscati
Laure Sauvé

Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 20 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: Comparative Law, Criminal Justice, Family and Social Welfare, Human Rights Law
Practice Assessment: to be confirmed
Assessment method for Masters students: 6,000 word coursework essay
Module Overview

Module summary

This module will examine family law and the regulation of family relationships in the context of globalisation, multiculturalism and mobility of family living. It will cover conflict of laws in areas such as domicile, the recognition of foreign marriage and divorce, legal pluralism and parallel court systems, the role of International Human Rights on family law; initiatives in Brussels toward the harmonization in Europe of family law; and specific issues in European law such as immigration and reproductive tourism.

Module syllabus

Advanced Issues in Family Law : Globalization, Multiculturalism and Religion

Indicative list of TOPICS parentheses

TERM 1: Theoretical perspectives

Part I: Introductory concepts

1. What is a Family?

2. What is a Mother?

3. What is a Father?

4. What is a Child?

PART II: Legal Globalization

5. Legal Pluralism: Definition and Implications

6. Informal Legal Pluralism: Customary, Arranged and Forced Marriages

7. Institutionalised Legal Pluralism: Parallel Court Systems, Religious Courts and Religious Law

8. Coordinating Legal Orders: the role of Conflict of Law Rules

9. Surmounting Plurality?: EU Harmonization of Family Law

10. The role of International Human Rights Law

TERM 2: Specific Issues

Part I: the Impact of Equality Rights

1. Civil Partnerships, Same sex marriages and Human Rights

2. Succession: Equality (between children, between genders and between same and opposite-sex couples) v. religious and national traditions

Part II: The Impact of Mobility

3. Divorce and Forum Shopping

4. Reproductive Tourism and EU Law : Abortion and Medically assisted procreation

5. International Surrogacy

6. Immigration

PART III: the Welfare of Children in a Multicultural World

7. Adoption

8. Protecting the child from harm: medical decisions and circumcision

9. Education

10. Revision Class

Recommended materials

There is no required text for this course; many of the readings are taken from scholarly journals or edited collections that are available either online or in the library. Seminar hand-outs and other material will be provided electronically via Moodle (virtual learning environment) at the start of the academic year.

Preliminary reading:

Seminar hand-outs and other material will be provided electronically via Moodle (virtual learning environment) at the start of the academic year. Moodle cannot be accessed until enrolment in September.

Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.