LAWS 2310 ‑ Child Protection Law


Protecting children from abuse by or under the watch of their caretaker is essential for a just society. Child protection legislation is complex and its historical and contemporary application presents issues of law at play within a framework of shifting social values and ethical norms. The study of child protection legislation and its operational application will challenge students to think broadly about how a child’s ‘best interests’ are determined. Topics covered will include: historical roots of child protection legislation; the stages of a child protection proceeding; the varied roles of the carer, social worker, lawyer and the judge; consideration of how the child’s ‘best interests’ are determined; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and Calls to Action; the intersection of child protection law with other areas of law including human rights, social justice, constitutional law and international treaties; the use and misuse of expert evidence; consideration of alternatives to court processes and possible ways forward to improve the system of child protection.

Prerequisite(s): None.
Co-requisite(s): None.
Assessment Method: This is a paper course, 80% major paper, 10% presentation and 10% class participation.
Restrictions: None.