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The Children Act: its evolution

Date:15 JAN 2020
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Solicitor Advocate

The Children Act 1989 (CA 1989) received Royal Assent on 16 November 1989 (in force from October 1991). Its thirtieth anniversary is upon us. It was a statute which required all courts social workers and practising children lawyers (a breed which at the time was only just emerging) to learn a new set of legal concepts.

This article looks specifically at children's rights under the Act in those thirty years. Central to this is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. Its Art 12.1 says: '1 States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.' Article 12 is not part of the 1989 Act but should be treated as the golden metwand by which assessment of children's rights are judged. How much is this the case?

Legal developments in the run up to the Act

In the ten years prior to the 1989 Act there...

Read the full article here.