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Child Law


Module description

In this module we ask:

  • Why and how should the law treat children different from adults?
  • What is a parent?
  • What duties do parents owe to children and to what extent should or can the State enforce them?
  • To what extent should children have rights?

In answering these questions we will look at controversial debates about the meaning of 'children's rights'; the legal definition of parents; the impact of reproductive technology; how children are treated on divorce; education law; and child protection and adoption. These debates across a wide range of familial conflicts touch on complex and controversial moral (and often religious) issues, all of which will be explored in the module.

The Child Law module follows on from the Adult Relations module in the autumn term. You can opt for Child Law independently or choose to take both of these options.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module you will have achieved not only a sound knowledge of the legal framework governing children but also a good grasp of the sociological context in which the legal questions arise. We will focus on what happens in practice as well as what should happen in theory.