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.
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.
On 12 October 2013 the Family Division of the High Court published a judgment which had been handed down in private on 5 September 2013 concerning an application from a father for a specific issue order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 requiring that his 15 year old (L) and 11 year old (M) daughters received the MMR vaccination. Dr Sara Fovargue considers the case and its implications.