Lucinda Ferguson is Associate Professor of Family Law, University of Oxford; Tutorial Fellow in Law, Oriel College, Oxford; and Director of Studies (Law), Regent's Park College, Oxford. She is Subject Convenor for both the FHS Family Law special option and the BCL option in Children, Families, and the State. She is the Senior Member for the Children's and Family Law Discussion Group. She also teaches tutorials in Tort Law.
She obtained a Distinction on the PGDipLATHE (Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) and was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015.
Outside of the University, she is an Associate Member of 1 King's Bench Walk.
As part of the undergraduate Family Law course, she provides lecture series in financial provision upon relationship breakdown, children's rights, child protection, and parenthood and parental responsibility. Her postgraduate teaching centres on the legal regulation of children (children's rights theory, international children's rights, welfare and wellbeing, and children and poverty).
In 2011-12, Lucinda was awarded the Oxford University Student Union Teaching Award for the Most Acclaimed Lecturer in the Social Sciences Division. In 2015, she was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Oxford.
Lucinda holds an MA in Jurisprudence (English Law with German Law) from Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as a BCL from the University of Oxford. She also holds an LLM from Queen's University, Canada. From 2005 to 2007, she was Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alberta in Canada. She has worked with the Law Commission of Canada and Canadian provincial governments on various matters relating to family and children's law, particularly the use of age-based rules in regulating children's entitlement to make legally effective decisions and the impact of the UNCRC on provincial government policy and practice. Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lucinda's research interests concentrate on family law theory, particularly: children's rights and interests in domestic, European, and international law; aspects of private ordering and financial provision upon relationship breakdown; and education law, especially exclusion from school. Whilst her perspective is theoretical, Lucinda's work is also deeply practical and concerned with how we might draw on the underlying theoretical arguments to improve outcomes for children and families regulated by law.
- In Wyatt v Vince, the Supreme Court was called upon to consider the correct interpretation of rule 4.4 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, which governs the courts power to strike out a statement of case. The Court of Appeals 2013 decision, from which the wife appealed, was the first reported decision on the interpretation of rule 4.4. This case commentary examines the Supreme Courts unanimous judgment in detail. Whilst the judicial interpretation of rule 4.4 resolves the matter before the court, Lord Wilsons judgment contains critical analysis of the nature of needs and contributions within the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, section 25 exercise, both independently and as they relate to delay. The court responds to the forensic delay on the facts by narrowing its construction of needs to those generated by the relationship and treating delay as a countervailing consideration to weigh against contributions. The former reasoning raises the possibility of a more coherent, interpersonal theoretical basis for financial provision upon relationship breakdown more generally. The latter arguably constructs delay as a substantive consideration, which strengthens the social obligation basis for financial provision.ISBN: 1059-4337DOI: 10.1080/09649069.2013.774757In this article, I argue for caution in embracing family arbitration as a new form of private ordering for resolving parties financial disputes. I explain that family arbitration may be more successful than other forms of private ordering and final court hearings in enabling certain types of parties to resolve certain types of disputes. I consider why family arbitration may not become numerically significant despite its potential benefits, but may be much more important in normative terms. Lawyer-led negotiations remain the most common form of out-of-court resolution and constitute the de facto default form of bargaining in the shadow of the normative regime framed by ss 23-25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Together with the transformation in approach to nuptial agreements, family arbitration may mark a normative shift towards autonomy and private ordering. I question whether this is a desirable step for family law, at least before we have resolved the underlying policy debate.ISBN: 0927-5568ISBN: 0964-9069ISBN: 1360-9939ISBN: 0704-1225This report was commissioned by the Law Commission of Canada. However, shortly after the report was published on the Law Commissions website in 2005, the incoming Canadian government abolished the Commission and reports on pending issues were removed from the website. It is now available on the SSRN site.
Family law theory; children's rights; welfare and wellbeing; education law
Options taughtTort, Family Law, Children, Families and the State