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The Child is Not a Person: Family Law and Other Legal Cultures

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Abstract:

Children's rights are usually seen through the perspective of family law, but it is suggested here that the approach in that jurisdiction suppresses children's legal personality and is not typical in other branches of law. For example, children are often assumed to have no standing in property law, perhaps because they cannot own a legal estate in land. In relation to personality and in equity, however, they are more tolerated than disabled, as in the laws of private obligations. International law and the human rights jurisdiction can be surprisingly disappointing in allowing children's rights, as can the domestic recognition of children's citizenship rights. However, European Union law has recently made strong assertions of those rights. It is further suggested that the assertion of children's legal personality would assist the protection of their welfare.

Keywords: Children, Children's Rights; Human Rights; Legal Personality; Locus Standi

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09649060600762274

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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