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  • Rights of the Child, The
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Rights of the Child, The

Law and Practice


Provides a detailed reference text for legal practitioners

This new title is the first dedicated practitioners' text to deal comprehensively with the rights of the child in the context of day-to-day practice within domestic jurisdiction.
 It enumerates and discusses the law and practice of children's rights, with a view to facilitating the greater articulation and consistent application of these rights in day-to-day legal practice. The book contains chapters dealing with each of the key rights and their application within the domestic courts, as guaranteed by European and International instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 The Rights of the Child: Law and Practice provides a detailed reference text for legal practitioners dealing with and representing children and families in England and Wales. It examines fully the relevant case-law and appends the key legal instruments.
 See also the companion volume Rights of the Child: Annotated Materials
 This is essential reading for all child law practitioners including barristers, solicitors, social workers, CAFCASS officers, probation officers and the Youth Offending Service, local authorities, law students and academics.
  • Foreword by Lady Hale
  • Introduction
  • Legal Frameworks and Institutions
  • Domestic Application and Enforcement
  • Overarching Principles
  • The Child's Right to Life, Survival and Development
  • The Child's Right to Participate
  • The Child's Right to Identity
  • The Child's Right to Family Life
  • The Child's Right to Private Life
  • The Child's Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
  • The Child's Right to Freedom of Expression
  • The Child's Right to Freedom of Association, Peaceful Assembly and Movement
  • The Child's Right to Education
  • The Child's Right to Liberty and Security of the Person
  • The Child's Right to Freedom from Harmful Treatment
  • The Child's Right to Fair and Equal Treatment under the Law
  • Conclusions
  • Appendices: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Human Rights Act 1998
"a new title that family law practitioners have no doubt been waiting for....the book's practical approach is reflected in the logical structure in which its detailed and meticulously footnoted content is laid out....this book should be added to the library of all UK family law practitioners as a matter of urgency."
Phillip Taylor MBE 'Click here to read the full review'

"refreshing to find a publication that unashamedly promotes children's rights in both the civil and criminal courts of England and Wales...offering in-depth analysis of the law on children's rights in a wide range of legal fields. These include aspects of family law, crime, mental health, immigration and asylum and educational law...impressive reference book that will be of significant assistance to practitioners faced with specific legal challenges, along with academics with an interest in the field."
Sharon Dyche, children's guardian
It is no mean feat to write a textbook for domestic practitioners about the
 relevance of the international law on children’s rights to their day to day work
 in this country. After all, most of the relevant international instruments, and in
 particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, have not
 been directly incorporated or transformed into our domestic law. A child
 cannot sue if her rights under that Convention have been breached. She cannot
 even make a complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the
 Child. So why should a practitioner in the United Kingdom concern himself
 with that or any other unincorporated Convention? Has he not got enough to
 worry about?

 These questions can be answered on many levels. But the most compelling for
 a practitioner is that without having somewhere to look up the latest learning
 on children’s rights you may miss something important about a case. Take the
 recent decision of the Supreme Court in ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State
 for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 4. There is no power to remove, expel
 or deport British citizens from this country. Yet if a non-citizen parent is
 removed, she may have no choice but to agree to take her children with her,
 and if she does so her children will also have no choice. Their individual rights,
 interests and views might not be taken into account. Until recently, this was all
 taken for granted.

 The Supreme Court held that the best interests of these children had to be a
 primary consideration in assessing whether removing a parent would be a
 disproportionate interference with the right of all the family members to
 respect for their private and family lives, contrary to article 8 of the European
 Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights in
 Strasbourg has given more and more weight to the Convention on the Rights
 of the Child in recent years.

 Article 3 of the Convention requires that in all
 actions concerning children, whether undertaken by social welfare institutions,
 courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests
 of the child shall be a primary consideration. This does not mean that they
 trump all other considerations. But it does mean that they must be considered
 first and given great weight. Citizen children should not be deprived of their
 right to live, grow up and be educated in their own country, culture and
 language without very strong countervailing considerations. Nor should they
 have to suffer for their parents’ misdeeds.

 Article 3 has found its way into our domestic law in other ways. The United
 Kingdom Borders Agency, for example, now has an explicit duty, under s 55 of
 the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to discharge its functions
 ‘having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
 who are in the United Kingdom’.

 So the message is: ‘think children’s rights’ and it may transform the case. And
 where do you go to ‘think children’s rights’? Well this is a good place to start …
Brenda Hale,
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

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