Should the law recognize, even accommodate, emotion? Emotion pervades victimization, social response to crime, and legal action. Yet in service of noble goals—fairness, justice, and objectivity—the law strives to elevate reason above passion. An emerging area of scholarship, law and emotion, questions whether it is possible, or desirable, to separate emotion from the law. To date, this new paradigm focuses largely on criminal law, disgust, and whether that emotion biases moral judgment, or perhaps should. Surprisingly untapped is the role of reason and passion in family law, topics ripe for examination given the range of emotions in intimate relationships between partners, parents, and children.
This conference is the first broad, systematic effort to examine family law through the lens of law and emotion scholarship. Using emerging findings from psychology and neuroscience, leading academics in law and social science from across the country will offer new visions of the goals, substance, and procedures of family law. Speakers will consider a range of intimate emotions—attachment, anger, love, fear, anxiety, forgiveness—in re-envisioning a role of law in regulating family conflict and promoting and preserving a diverse array of family relationships.
Continuing Education Credit is pending for psychologists, social workers, lawyers, and guardians ad litem.
The conference is being co-sponsored by The Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, which will be publishing a symposium issue of the conference. Please visit the VJSPL website for more information on the journal.