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The module addresses the position of children in Irish law, with a particular emphasis on children in the context of family law. It addresses, in particular, current legal developments in the area of reproduction and assisted human reproduction (as well as surrogacy). The module examines the position of the child under the Constitution of Ireland 1937, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It interrogates the law as it relates to the care and upbringing of children, with particular emphasis on the concepts of adoption, guardianship, custody and access, and the provision of financial support for children. The module also examines legal responses to children and other family members identified as being at risk, with a particular focus on the Child Care Act 1991, as amended, and the responsibilities of the Child and Family Agency, as well as child abduction, and domestic violence.
The module seeks throughout to highlight the increasingly international dimensions of child law, with particular emphasis on cross-border recognition of court orders, and the free movement of families. It also emphasises the importance, where appropriate and feasible, of seeking to resolve disputes by conciliation, mediation and collaborative practices, though being mindful throughout of the imperative of ensuring that the best interests of the child are always secured.
The Evolution of Children’s Rights: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Constitution and Children: the 31st Amendment (Article 42A); international law
Reproduction and the Law: Parentage, AHR and Surrogacy
Disputes about Children: Guardianship, Custody, Access, Maintenance
Children at Risk: Care proceedings, Fostercare and Residential Care; Domestic Violence
Adoption and Adoption Information
Transnational Family issues and Conflicts of Law; Brussels II bis; Child Abduction;
Children in the Justice System
Any aspect of this module may be changed in any given academic year, subject to the discretion of the module lecturer.