CHILD LAW - 2020/1

Module code: LAW3066

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 provider

School of Law

Module Leader

THANAPAL Vickie (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


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

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Open Book Examination 100

Alternative Assessment


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 (statutory and case law), recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and should be able to apply that law to the issues raised by the questions. Students should also be able create arguments (supported by law) leading to preferred outcomes in context of a problem solving exercise. 

Evaluation and synthesis

the law should be subjected to critical and reasoned 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:

2 hour unseen written examination consisting of 4 questions. Part A: single compulsory problem question. Part B: a choice from 3 essay questions. Students will be allowed to bring in an unmarked statute book and also a copy of the essential text.

‘The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.’



Formative assessment and feedback

One hour examination - single question answered. This will result in specific feedback from the module leader.

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
001 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature and operation of children's rights KC
002 Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the doctrines and concepts which inform child law in the UK and in other jurisdictions KC
003 Demonstrate an understanding of the status of a child in law KC
004 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of parentage KCP
005 Critically evaluate the adequacy of the law in determination of parentage KCP
006 Understand the legal regulation of assisted reproduction K
007 Critically analyse the adequacy of the law in relation to assisted reproduction, in particular the lack of laws regulating surrogacy KCT
008 Explore the concept of parental responsibility in law KC
009 Critically evaluate the nature of the welfare principle KCP
010 Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of wardship and the inherent jurisdiction KC
011 Critically assess the way in which the courts resolve private disputes over children KCPT
012 Critically evaluate the way that the state ensures a child is protected KC
013 Demonstrate understanding on the legal obligations of the Local Authority with regards children in their area KC
014 Demonstrate understanding of and critically evaluate the legal principles governing State (Local Authority) intervention in Family life (care/supervision) KCP
015 Critically evaluate the mechanisms by which parents can challenge the decisions of the state KC
016 Critically explore the current law regulating adoption KCT
017 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
018 Critical engage in scholarly debate regarding child law, critically analysing the major tendencies within legal scholarship and the relationship between them KCPT
019 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

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


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3066

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 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

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 2020/1 academic year.