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Chapter

This chapter introduces some theoretical discussions concerning children’s rights and examines some ‘core’ legal provisions. It also looks at the case law related to which the issue of the legal protection of children’s interests has been explored. The focus is on the child’s right to make his or her own decisions as a possible limitation on parental responsibility, explored principally in the context of children’s medical treatment.

Chapter

N V Lowe and G Douglas

This chapter begins by discussing the revised Brussels II Regulation, which has become the preeminent instrument within the EU and provides the basic rules of jurisdiction for hearing cases concerning children. It then examines the international aspects of adoption and, in that context, the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Next, it turns to the most developed area of international child law, namely international parental child abduction, and in respect of which a number of international instruments come into play. Finally, it discusses the international protection of children as governed by the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children which the UK ratified in 2012.

Chapter

This examines how the courts deal with private law issues or disputes relating to children’s upbringing, such as post-separation residence or contact disputes, or other specific issues, including international child abduction. It begins by setting out some general principles for deciding children cases which are contained in section 1 of the Children Act 1989, and procedural matters relating to such cases.

Chapter

This chapter examines the legal mechanisms by which children can be provided with long-term alternative secure family placements: the law on adoption and special guardianship. Topics discussed include: decision-making in relation to adoption; adoption agencies’ role in assessing suitable adoptions; rules relating to parental consent in adoption cases; placement for adoption; applications to adopt; post adoption contact; revocation of adoption; and special guardianship orders.

Chapter

This chapter examines the relationship between children, parents, and the state, looking at how the law responds to children needing services, care, and protection. Topics discussed include: Part III of the Children Act 1989; the threshold for compulsory intervention in family life based on the concept of ‘significant harm’; protecting children in an emergency; care and supervision orders; the local authority’s care plan and respective roles of the local authority and court; and discharge of care orders.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the issue of parental child abduction, i.e. the removal of children by a parent to another country without the permission of the other parent or the permission of the court. It looks at jurisdiction, in which circumstances removal may be lawful, passports, and port alerts. It examines the phenomenon of parental child abduction; the national and international law assisting parents seeking the return of a child; and the law and procedure relevant to preventing child abduction. Hague and non-Hague convention countries are also discussed, as well as what can be done if a child is abducted to a non-Hague convention country.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the issue of parental child abduction, i.e. the removal of children by a parent to another country without the permission of the other parent or the permission of the court. It looks at jurisdiction, in which circumstances removal may be lawful, passports, and port alerts. It examines the phenomenon of parental child abduction; the national and international law assisting parents seeking the return of a child; and the law and procedure relevant to preventing child abduction. Hague and non-Hague convention countries are also discussed, as well as what can be done if a child is abducted to a non-Hague convention country.

Chapter

N V Lowe and G Douglas

This chapter discusses the legal position of children. It first considers the relatively simple issues of who the law regards as a child and the meaning of ‘child of the family’. It then discusses the child's legal status; the changing nature of the parent-child relationship; and the still developing notion of the child's independent or autonomy rights.

Chapter

18. Children and Local Authorities:  

The Position of Children in Care

N V Lowe and G Douglas

This chapter discusses the position of children in local authority care. It begins by considering the issue of contact with children in care. It then looks more broadly at local authorities' duties to all children looked after by them, which includes those who are accommodated as well as those who are subject to care orders. Finally, it describes the means by which local authority decisions with respect to children being looked after by them can be challenged.

Chapter

Annika Newnham

This chapter looks at the law used to resolve disputes about where children should live, who they should have contact with, or other disputes about issues like a choice of school or a child’s religion. The Children Act 1989 is the main piece of legislation and its first principle in section 1(1) is that disputes must be decided by focusing on what will be best for the child. The majority of such disputes are between two parents, but they can also involve relatives. The court has to look at any alleged risks such as domestic abuse or parental neglect, and balance these against the benefits that spending time with a parent can bring to children.

Book

Joanna Miles, Rob George, and Sonia Harris-Short

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. Drawing on extensive experience, the authors offer a detailed and authoritative exposition of family law illustrated by materials carefully selected from a wide range of sources. The book’s principal aims are to provide readers with a thorough understanding of family law, in a way that stimulates critical reflection. Readers are encouraged to consider how and why the law has developed as it has, what policies it is seeking to pursue, whether it achieves the right balance between the rights and interests of individual family members and the wider public interest, and how it operates in practice. This edition provides updates and revised discussion on: civil partnership after R (Steinfeld and Keidan) (2018); divorce law following Owens v Owens (2018) and the government’s consultation on reform; domestic abuse, including consultation ahead of the draft Domestic Abuse Bill and forced marriage; rights under the ECHR and UNCRC in children proceedings; surrogacy following Re Z (A Child) (No 2) (2016); child arrangements orders; specific issue and prohibited steps orders, including relocation law; local authority voluntary accommodation following Williams v London Borough of Hackney (2018). There is a new chapter dedicated to property and financial issues after the breakdown of relationships other than marriage and civil partnership. The introductory chapter, supported by materials on the Online Resources, considers some of the contemporary challenges faced by the family justice system.

Chapter

N V Lowe and G Douglas

This chapter is concerned with the welfare principle, which the courts are called upon to apply when determining any question concerning a child's upbringing or the administration of his property. This is governed by Section 1 of the Children Act 1989. The discussions cover the paramountcy of the child's welfare; criticisms of the welfare principle; the importance of an ongoing relationship with both parents after family separation; delay prima facie prejudicial to the child's welfare; and the provision that the court ‘shall not make the order or any of the orders unless it considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all’.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the law governing child support. Child support is regulated by one or more of several statutes depending on the circumstances: the Child Support Act 1991 (CSA 1991), as amended; Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989; the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973; and the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The applicability of the CSA 1991 in a particular case can limit to some extent the use of the other statutes mentioned.

Chapter

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This is the first of two chapters discussing child protection issues—what is often called the public law concerning children. Chapter 17 begins with a consideration of the basic dilemmas of child protection followed by an overview of the development of local authority powers. It explains the current basic legal framework and provisions for local authorities to provide services for families; specific duties and powers; accommodating children in need; and secure accommodation. The chapter ends by focusing on the local authorities’ investigative powers and duties. It covers the general duty of investigation under s 47 of the Children Act 1989; co-operating with other agencies to discharge investigative duties; emergency protection orders; child assessment orders; and police protection.

Chapter

This chapter considers how the Children Act 1989 provided a legal framework within which the state can support children to remain with their families through difficult situations and intervene to protect them when they face unacceptable risks. The chapter starts by giving a brief history of child protection law. The chapter then looks at the inherent tension in protecting children while aspiring to support their life with their families, before considering local authorities' powers and duties, resources, and the ever-increasing numbers of children who are involved with social services, whether as c hildren in need, looked after children, or as subjects of child protection investigations or applications.

Chapter

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

This chapter explores how the family finances are dealt with following the breakup between cohabitants in non-formal relationships. In particular, it considers property law disputes between cohabitants on relationship breakdown and the application of the law of trusts to determine the resolution of such disputes. As these are principles of general application which have not been designed specifically to deal with the financial consequences of relationship breakdown between cohabitants, the chapter highlights how they are generally regarded as inadequate to resolve family property disputes, producing unfair outcomes in certain situations.

Chapter

A legal obligation to provide financial support for another member of the family, often referred to as ‘family solidarity’ in civil law systems, may be seen as the most tangible recognition of the moral ties created by family relationships. This chapter begins with a brief review of the historical development of the law, including the role of the welfare state. It then considers mechanisms whereby family members can seek support from each other, namely through private agreements, court orders, and finally under the child support scheme.

Chapter

N V Lowe and G Douglas

One of the great shifts in English law governing the parent and child was the move away from treating children as passive victims of family breakdown towards regarding them as participants and actors in the family justice system. It is now generally accepted that children should have a voice or, at any rate, the opportunity of expressing a view in legal proceedings which concern them. This chapter begins by considering what obligation there is to take the child's views into account. It then discusses how those views are investigated; the law and practice governing the child's direct participation in legal proceedings concerning them; and the needs for and requirements of a child friendly family justice system. Finally, it looks at the role of the Commissioners for Children to look after children's interests more generally.

Chapter

N V Lowe and G Douglas

This chapter explains the basic legal framework and provisions for local authorities to provide services for families. It covers the general role of the courts and local authorities; an overview of the development of local authority powers; the current law; general duty of local authority to children in need; specific duties and powers; accommodating children in need; and secure accommodation.