Ritically assess whether the law relating to assisted reproduction and legal parentage is too rigid to adequately protect the interests of parties.
Introduction to the topic
The sensitive and diverse nature of family law has meant that legislation is often drafted to allow the judiciary a measure of discretion in dealing with family matters. For example, parts of The Children Act 1989 could be seen to provide guidelines for the courtsi?? consideration rather than rigid rules.
Scientific developments surrounding the area of fertility have necessitated changes in the law to take account of new situations. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Acts 1990 and 2008 have sought to clarify legal parentage and protect the interests of parties. The question asks students to consider the approach taken by Parliament in passing this legislation and whether this strikes an appropriate balance between providing legal certainty and allowing judges sufficient leeway to consider the circumstances of each case.
?i??Family law is traditionally flexible, giving the court scope to deal with each case on its own merits. Fertility law, in contrast, is often driven by a Parliamentary wish to create clarity and certainty at a wider public policy level. The two approaches do not always sit together comfortably.i??
Gamble, N, i??Lesbian parents and sperm donors: Re G and Re Zi??, Nov  Fam Law 1429
Critically assess whether the law relating to assisted reproduction and legal parentage is too rigid to adequately protect the interests of parties.
In the introductory paragraphs you should set out how you propose to answer the issues raised in the question, the areas you intend to discuss and summarise the conclusions that the essay will reach.
The areas of discussion set out in your introduction should be expanded upon and analysed in light of the quote. You should examine the law underpinning judicial decision making and cases illustrating the approach the courts have taken.
The content and structure is entirely a matter for the author and the following points are not intended to be prescriptive. However, by way of guidance, you may wish to consider:
? The extent to which family law can traditionally be described as flexible.
? The relevant legislation underpinning fertility treatment and legal parentage, in
particular the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Acts 1990 and 2008.
? Whether the law in this area has developed sufficiently in line with scientific and
? Whether the legislation strikes a good balance between legal certainty and the
individual circumstances of families.
? Whether the law adequately protects the rights of the parties involved, including
those of the child.
Students should remember that the essay is a legal one and avoid emotive statements of opinion without reference to authority.
This conclusion should be a brief summary of the issues and arguments raised in the main body of the essay and should show how these have provided an answer to the question set.
Added on 01.04.2015 18:41
NB:In the Attached file, the essay to be completed is under Family Law number 14 on the last two pages
What is the Examiner looking for?
The following provides a guide as to the assessment criteria for the extended essay:
Evidence of independent research
The examiners are not looking for evidence of original research (you are not being asked to submit a thesis) but consideration is given to the methodology utilised by the candidate in considering the pertinent issues. Has the candidate demonstrated an ability to obtain relevant material from a number of sources? Have they shown they can demarcate between essential issues and those of only marginal relevance? Does the work illustrate independent analysis/evaluation? Students often ask the question as to what can make their particular assessment distinguishable from a mere narrative piece of work. To achieve this a candidate may make reference to recent developments in the area (either within English law or using an international approach, if relevant), or finding material that provides an alternative approach to the mainstream view, such as a critical analysis, or making use of the usual resources in an usual way.
Note that presentation is part of the academic criteria on which you will be judged. For this reason, you should proof-read your work carefully, paying particular attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax. Note also the submission procedure above. Comply with all the instructions given especially page numbering and citations.
You must ensure that you keep strictly to the aims/objective youi??ve set yourself. Clearly dissect the relevant from the irrelevant focusing only on the material you need to support your discussion. Do not be tempted to go off at tangents. Avoid simply providing a narrative of the main issues. Four specific elements will be looked for:
a) Has the candidate found relevant material?
b) Has the candidate selected the most appropriate sources for the
points they are making?
c) Has the candidate constructed a valid argument from the material
d) Has the candidate drawn reasoned and logical conclusion?
Do the arguments, points, etc, follow a logical pattern? Is the work fragmented or confused or ambiguous? Do the phrases used by the candidate indicate a limited or poor understanding of the issues?
Aims and Objectives
Your aim(s)/objective(s) should always be clear within your introduction and throughout your work. Remember the extended essay represents opportunities for you to demonstrate your ability to both critically evaluate and analyse an area of law not formally studied. Ensure your aims reflect this fact.
1. Researching Material
2. Selecting Relevant Material
3. Application of Material (involving the construction of arguments,
evaluation of issues and the articulation of reasoned conclusions on
the information given)
4. Critical reflection