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Bromley's Family Law

Bromley's Family Law (12th edn)

Nigel Lowe, Gillian Douglas, Emma Hitchings, and Rachel Taylor
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date: 06 October 2022

p. 49814. The Welfare Principlelocked

p. 49814. The Welfare Principlelocked

  • N V Lowe, N V LoweEmeritus Professor of Law at Cardiff University
  • G Douglas, G DouglasProfessor of Law at King’s College London
  • E HitchingsE HitchingsProfessor in Family Law at University of Bristol
  •  and R TaylorR TaylorAssociate Professor of Law at University of Oxford and Fellow in Law at Exeter College, Oxford


This chapter is concerned with the foundational principle of child law: the welfare principle. It discusses the contested meaning of ‘welfare’ in s 1 of the Children Act 1989, particularly through evaluation of the terms outlined in the welfare checklist. This includes consideration of matters such as the weight to be given to children’s wishes and feelings. The meaning of ‘paramountcy’ is then discussed, including assessment of the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 and an explanation of the circumstances in which welfare is not paramount. The chapter then turns to the impact of the presumption of parental involvement, ‘no order’ principle and the need to avoid undue delay on the assessment of a child’s welfare.

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