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Family LawText, Cases, and Materials

Family Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (4th edn)

Joanna Miles, Rob George, and Sonia Harris-Short
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date: 24 June 2024

p. 5378. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Childrenlocked

p. 5378. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Childrenlocked

  • Joanna Miles, Joanna MilesReader in Family Law & Policy and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge
  • Rob GeorgeRob GeorgeAssociate Professor of Family Law, University College London
  •  and Sonia Harris-ShortSonia Harris-ShortFormer Professor of Law, University of Birmingham


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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