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Family LawText, Cases, and Materials

Family Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (5th edn)

Rob George, Sharon Thompson, and Joanna Miles
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date: 23 April 2024

p. 5268. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Childrenlocked

p. 5268. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Childrenlocked

  • Rob George,
  • Sharon Thompson
  •  and Joanna Miles


All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter, which focuses on alternative approaches to child-related disputes and their influence on English law, first considers the welfare principle and its central role in child law today. It addresses the problems and limitations of the principle, and then looks at alternatives to a welfare-orientated approach. The chapter examines children’s rights as an alternative or supplement to a welfare-orientated approach. It explores the different theoretical perspectives on the concept of children’s rights; the extent to which this approach has gained acceptance within domestic family law; and the importance of the ‘non-intervention’ principle and the possible tension between a commitment to maximizing children’s welfare whilst supporting only a minimalist role for the state, including promoting family dispute resolution in the private realm.

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