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The Adequacy of Remedies in Respect of Unsubstantiated Accusations of Child Abuse

Sep 29, 2018, 19:44 PM
The rationale for the need for the State to intervene to protect children from abuse focusses on the welfare of the child.
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Date : Nov 30, 2016, 04:51 AM
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Dr Lauren Devine, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England

Keywords: Remedies - child protection - referrals - unsubstantiated allegations - harm

The rationale for the need for the State to intervene to protect children from abuse focusses on the welfare of the child. Less attention is given to the ramifications for parents who are suspected of abuse, but where no evidence of abuse is found, or where evidence is inconclusive. Severe and long lasting harm can be caused by the investigative State processes such parents undergo. In such situations parents may seek redress. Although the question of remedies in relation to harm caused by public family law processes inevitably concerns discussion of the appropriate balance between State powers and private remedies, such discussion tends to focus on the later stages of the child protection process. The question of harm is not adequately addressed, particularly in cases where there is insufficient evidence to progress beyond investigation. Specific provision for adequate remedy that does not upset the balance between State powers and private rights is indicated.  

This article was published in Child and Family Law Quarterly in Issue 1, Vol 29, Year 2017. The final published version of this article is publicly available here [2017] CFLQ 43.pdf12 months after its publication date, under a CC-BY-NC licence. 

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