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12. Human Rights, Children’s Rights, and Family Law  

Helen Stalford, Seamus Byrne, and Nazia Yaqub

This chapter explores children’s rights in the context of family law and family life. It aims to look at family law through the lens of the human rights of children and the associated theoretical, doctrinal, and empirical scholarship. It begins with a brief overview of the international children’s rights framework underpinning this area, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. It then points to some of the cultural, legal, and practical obstacles to the protection of children’s rights in the context of family law. The updated chapter responds to changes in the law arising as a result of Brexit and the recent legislative changes on corporal punishment across the different UK jurisdictions.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

8. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Children  

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.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

8. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Children  

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.