CHILD LAW - 2017/8

Module code: LAW3066

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

THANAPAL V Dr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 WORD COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The law relating to children is critical because much of the law concerning the family is now specifically concerned with children.  Child law and the concept of children’s rights informs and constructs the legal framework for the parenting and regulation of parenting of children.  Private disputes over children sometimes require the intervention by the courts and this extends to the use of wardship and the inherent jurisdiction by the courts to respond to a pressing dilemma in the child’s life.  The state will regulate parenting where it is felt that this has fallen short and sometimes the state is involved in a child’s life when planning for its future via adoption.

Module aims

To provide an understanding of the way in which children are promoted and protected within the law

To critically assess the sources of child law and the theories underlying the concept of children's rights

To identify and critically assess the law governing parentage and parental responsibility

To understand the law concerning the resolution of private disputes over children;

To critically assess the ambit and nature of child protection and the mechanisms for appeal within that process

To highlight the role of the law in regulating adoption

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature and operation of children's rights KC
Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the doctrines and concepts which inform child law in the UK and in other jurisdictions KC
Demonstrate an understanding of the status of a child in law KC
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of parentage KCP
Critically evaluate the adequacy of the law in determination of parentage KCP
Understand the legal regulation of assisted reproduction K
Critically analyse the adequacy of the law in relation to assisted reproduction, in particular the lack of laws regulating surrogacy KCT
Explore the concept of parental responsibility in law KC
Critically evaluate the nature of the welfare principle KCP
Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of wardship and the inherent jurisdiction KC
Critically assess the way in which the courts resolve private disputes over children KCPT
Critically evaluate the way that the state ensures a child is protected KC
Demonstrate understanding on the legal obligations of the Local Authority with regards children in their area KC
Demonstrate understanding of and critically evaluate the legal principles governing State (Local Authority) intervention in Family life (care/supervision) KCP
Critically evaluate the mechanisms by which parents can challenge the decisions of the state KC
Critically explore the current law regulating adoption KCT
Critically engage in discussions regarding competing policy concerns and values which inform child law and its development, and the relationship between them, in order to be able to propose and defend solutions KCPT
Critical engage in scholarly debate regarding child law, critically analysing the major tendencies within legal scholarship and the relationship between them KCPT
Critically engage with and apply knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex problems and answer complex essay questions which seek to resolve tensions in the competing goals and content of child law CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to Child Law
Children’s Rights
Parentage (natural conception + assisted reproduction)
Status, Parents and Parental Responsibility
The Welfare Principle
Wardship and the Inherent Jurisdiction
Resolution of private disputes concerning children
Child Protection
The laws response to the concept of adoption

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to the subject areas and provide an overview to enable students to understand the basic principles and concepts.  The tutorials will delve deeper into the complexities of the subject and consider key principles for the analysis of child law situations.  Students will be provided with preliminary reading references but will be expected to undertake additional independent research into the subject.  During tutorials students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to apply that research to discuss given legal problems, to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and proposing solutions to such problems, and to evaluate, critically research and advance scholarship in relevant areas.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 2 hour lectures and 6 x 1 hour tutorials


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Identification of Issues

students should demonstrate the ability to identify the legal issues raised by the questions

Analysis of the law and application

students should demonstrate the ability to analyse the relevant law, recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and should be able to apply that law to the issues raised by the questions.

Evaluation and synthesis

the law should be subjected to critical analysis and, where appropriate, its wider social/moral/ethical context should be considered.


students should demonstrate the ability to draw appropriate conclusions, based upon their analysis of the issues raised by the questions.


The assessment addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

1 x 3000 word coursework where students are required to answer up to three separate questions. These will be weighted accordingly.


Formative assessment and feedback

1500 word coursework. This will result in specific feedback from the module leader.

Reading list

Reading list for CHILD LAW :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (JD Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.