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and expense described by the Law Commission above would fall on those wanting to escape the protection offered in law, not to those wishing to be protected.19 Piecemeal regulation has many advantages, then. It is more flexible, allowing a variety of ways of life to receive appropriate state attention. It can meet the needs of caring relationships but does not assume that all caring relationships are attached to other forms of intimacy or that people have only one sort of caring relationship. And it dispenses entirely with one special status to which special recognition and thus endorsement is attached. Instead, the importance of many different forms of relationship is recognized, and each is provided with the legal recognition, rights and responsibilities appropriate to it. University of Cambridge Jesus College Cambridge CB5 8BL cec66@cam.ac.uk www.clarechambers.com

19

As J. S. Mill argues, ‘laws and institutions should be adapted, not to good men only, but to bad’ (1996). 15

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Clare Chambers (Cambridge): The Marriage-Free State (PDF & Podcast)  

Draft Paper & Podcast: "The Marriage-Free State" by Clare Chambers (Cambridge). This talk was delivered to the Aristotelian Society on 7 Jan...

Clare Chambers (Cambridge): The Marriage-Free State (PDF & Podcast)  

Draft Paper & Podcast: "The Marriage-Free State" by Clare Chambers (Cambridge). This talk was delivered to the Aristotelian Society on 7 Jan...