ERIC Number: ED212389
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Rights of Parents and Children. Unit for Child Studies Selected Papers Number 17.
The rights of parents and children can best be understood, it is argued, if the law is seen as distributing power over children's lives. Three case studies that illustrate this thesis are discussed with reference to some changes to the law contained in the Community Welfare Bill 1981 (New South Wales). It is further argued that the legal principle that the child's welfare is the paramount consideration does not resolve legal disputes because litigants have different views of what constitutes the child's best interest. A list of some of the bases on which people claim power over children's lives is provided and its categories are discussed. Listed bases for claiming power over children are biological, associational, expertise, representative of the state, cultural identification, personal autonomy of children, and impartial arbitrator of other claims (the courts). It is concluded that attempts to enter propositions such as "children have a right to a secure home life" into law are dubious exercises that do not much advance the cause of law reform. Further, children's rights would be advanced if the law accorded the right weight to the various categories of claimants, and ensured that the various claims were properly examined before a decision was made in a particular case. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Court Litigation, Foreign Countries, Foster Family, Legislation, Parent Child Relationship, Power Structure, Racial Discrimination, Social Structure
Unit for Child Studies, School of Education, University of New South Wales, P.O. Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia ($2.00; payment should be made in Australian dollars).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Education.
Identifiers: Aboriginal People; Australia (New South Wales); Childrens Rights; Parent Rights
Note: Paper presented at the Unit for Child Studies Spring Saturday Seminars (Kensington, Australia, September 19, 1981). For other papers in this series, see ED 204 092-037 and PS 012 652-660.