Staff at the European Children’s Rights Unit (University of Liverpool) and elsewhere are involved in Children’s Rights Judgments – a project to progress the use of a children’s rights approach in judgment writing. Re A (Application for DNA Testing)  EWCA Civ 133 concerns an appeal against a judgment of the Liverpool County Court and it provides a notable case study to consider from a children’s rights perspective. It is probably the least child-friendly judgment you are likely to see in this jurisdiction in recent times. The reaction by a judge to the application of a child for a court order makes for extraordinary reading, and serves as a reminder of the distance left to travel in terms of universal acceptance of children’s rights as legal actors and indeed as human beings.
Are care leavers just more criminal? You might think so when you see them over-represented, year after year, in the criminal justice statistics. Would it be fair to think like this? Of course not! In reality, the situation is far from straightforward. This is certainly evident from current concerns (such as those raised by the House of Commons Justice Committee) over the unnecessary criminalisation of children in care for minor offences, their treatment in the youth justice system and their effective abandonment by local authorities as care leavers in the criminal justice system.
The Children and Families Act 2014 came into force six months ago today. The Act put into place some of the Family Justice Reforms that had long been discussed and debated. One of the major changes to family law was that residence and contact orders were replaced by child arrangement orders. Today section 11 of the Act comes into force and introduces a new presumption of ‘continued parental involvement’. The presumption only applies to family proceedings commenced after 22nd October 2014.
The issue of family migration has long been a controversial area in immigration law, not least because it represents a particular set of challenges to a Government. Unlike decisions to admit a migrant for work or business, family migration brings to the fore a tension between the personal interests of those lawfully in the UK who wish to reunite with their family members and the desire of the Government to manage and often limit migration. One of the recurrent themes that emerges in policy in this area is a concern that family migrants and their British based sponsors should have sufficient financial resources to be able to support themselves and enable the migrant to participate and integrate into society without being a burden on the general taxpayer. In the Family Migration Consultation of July 2011, the government argued that too many family migrants are reliant on the low wages of their sponsor and risk needing welfare support.
Dr Sarah Beresford comments upon the recent calls for a lowering of the age of consent. Towards the end of 2013, the topic of changing the age of consent in England and Wales was much in the news. She suggests that much of the debate has focused expressly or impliedly on the age of which men and boys have sexual intercourse (whether gay or straight). Those who argue for a reduction in the age of consent use (whether knowingly or not) a queer theory approach to the issue. Queer theory, originally intended to be a liberating phenomenon, has in fact become synonymous with white gay men. Consequently, the debate on the age of consent has ignored or given insufficient attention to the effect(s) a lowering of the age of consent will have on girls and women.
P was born on 24 August 2012 in England, while her mother (known in this case as A, but in the caesarean decision as AA) was in the country for work purposes. Both A and B (P’s father) live in Italy; she is an Italian citizen, he is not. P was subject to an interim care order from birth, and this was continually renewed under section 38 of the Children Act (CA) 1989.