Principles in practice

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, this project investigates the way the statutory provisions are used in Scotland.


Scots law, in terms of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, provides an excellent statutory framework for financial provision on divorce. It is based on explicit principles and has well defined objectives.

Although the Act has been in place for almost 30 years, and during that time has been generally well received, there has been relatively little detailed research into how it works in practice.

Aims and objectives

The aim of this project is to investigate, within the context of adjudicated cases, the ways in which the statutory provisions are used, how they operate in practice and the experience of those legal professionals involved in their use; solicitors, advocates and judges.


The project began in 2012 and is ongoing until further notice.


The results will be available online on completion.

Project team

  • Jane Mair, Principal Investigator
  • Professor Fran Wasoff, Co-Investigator and Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh
  • Enid Mordaunt, Research Assistant