WHAT Between private and public. The legal construction of parenthood in Scandinavia, lecture of the seminar Public-privé : une frontière floue entre la force de l'état et l'autonomie des individus
WHEN May 19 2015, 18:00-21:00
WHERE Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS, 96 bd Raspail, salle des artistes, Paris
Helle Vogt, (Université of Copenhagen)
Family law is traditionally been seen as a discipline within the sphere of private law, but the centre of the family law – the construction of the family and the relationship between children and parents – are and have always been determinate by public moral and ethic; be it the religion, political ideas of non-discrimination or the individual’s right to chose over her body.
The starting point will be taken in a couple of contemporary cases that illustrate the fields of tension between the way parenthood is legally constructed and the public opinion about when legal – and financial – responsibilities arise in regard to children. These cases illustrate how traditional norms like ‘the father is defined by the marriage’ (‘pater est quem nuptiæ demonstrant’), and ideas linked to the welfare state like all children have the right to both a mother and a father are under pressure.
Thereafter we will move back in time to see how parenthood has been constructed historically, which norms have defined it, and why and how changes occurred. Focus will be on illegitimate children, and the parents’ rights and obligations toward them.