The Radicalisation Cases in the Family Courts: A Critical Evaluation

This paper will discuss the topic of my PhD thesis: the recently emerging and growing body of family law cases, officially known as the Radicalisation Cases in the Family Courts, that deal with concerns about the impact of alleged or suspected radicalisation on parents and/or children. This paper will argue that the radicalisation cases represent an important legal development since the direct involvement of the family courts in preventing and countering (the involvement of children in) terrorism is unprecedented in the UK. The paper will subject the radicalisation cases and the novel interaction between family law and counter-terrorism that they have engendered to careful analysis and critical examination.
By factually and legally contextualising the radicalisation cases, the paper examines how this interaction has taken place. The paper will go on to critically interrogate why the radicalisation cases have appeared in the family courts at this point in time, arguing that the cases are influenced by and in fact reinforce a changing political context and a shifting counter-terrorism and security landscape that is anxious about and that seeks to regulate Muslim cultural difference, Muslim cultural life and political or ideological expressions of Islam. Finally, the paper will examine some of the worrying implications of this interaction between family law and counter-terrorism.