Fellow in Law, Exeter College, Oxford University
This article traces the 'rise and fall' of the use of presumptions in interpreting the welfare principle in section one of the Children Act 1989. It argues that after the implementation of the Act the courts developed a series of presumptions to be used in applying the welfare principle. However in recent years the courts have withdrawn their support for the use of such presumptions. We welcome this development. It is not helpful for the court to rely on generalisations about what is good for children. Instead we support the emphasis on what is in the welfare of the particular child in the circumstances of the particular child.
The full version of this article appears in the May 2013 issue of Family Law.