LAW06038 2016 Principles of Law - ECCE

General Details

Full Title
Principles of Law - ECCE
Transcript Title
Principles of law
N/A %
Subject Area
LAW - Law
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Deirdre McCaffrey
Programme Membership
SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ

Graduates of Early Childhood Care and Education are required to know the legal framework and the law that governs their everyday work.

The first task for any student new to the study of law, is to become acquainted with the instruments of domestic law community law and international law. Thus, this module aims to introduce students to those legal sources and to the components and workings of both the domestic and international legal systems as a framework for the study and practice in the early years setting.

Pre-school regulations will be a core aspect and will complement and be complemented by other modules covering the regulations in practice. Accountability to the pre-school child will also be explored from a negligence perspective.

A further strand to this module will be the study of disability law. The module seeks to provide students with an understanding of key concepts of Irish and international law, particularly relating to access to health and education for disabled children.

A unit of this module relates to education law. Education is compulsory but not school. How is attendance dealt with under modern education laws – is it punitive or child-centred in practice?  

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child will be studied in the context of its reflection in Irish domestic law.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the primary sources of law, structure and administration of the Irish judicial system.


Discuss the constitutional and statutory rights of children to education and the corresponding responsibilities of parentsand the State


Explore how the rights of persons with disabilities are protected in areas such as health, education, and access to public services


Demonstrate familiarity with United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child standards and how their reflection in domestic law ensures enjoyment of these right by children within the State.     


Display required cognisance of issues pertinent to safety including health and safety law and the tort of negligence. 


Examine the regulatory framework surrounding the pre-school setting 

Teaching and Learning Strategies

  1. A combination of lectures and tutorials
  2. Computer laboratory workshop  
  3. Court visit is mandatory

Module Assessment Strategies

Learners assessed by way of continuous assessment (50%) and exam (50%)

Example of continuous assessment:  Right of children with disabilities under domestic law  


Repeat Assessments

Repeat assignments will follow format as set out under assessment strategies

Indicative Syllabus

Indicative syllabus

1 The nature and sources of law

  • The sources of law
  • Distinguish between civil and criminal codes
  • Structure and jurisdiction of the courts


2 The Early Years Sector

  • Child Care Act, 1991 as amended by Child and Family Agency Act, 2013
  • Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years) Regulations 2016 as they relate to placement student

3 Accountability in the early years setting

  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005
  • Tort - Negligence

4 Education

  • International: UNCRC - Art 28, Art 29 and Art 2
  • Constitution: Art 42 of the Constitution and rights/duties concerning education
  • Legislation: Education Act, 1998: Education Welfare Act, 2000 Equal Status Act 2000 – 2015

5 Disability law

  • International: UNCRC Art 23 and UNCRPD
  • Constitution: Art 42 right of children with disabilities to education
  • Legislation: Special Needs Act, 2004: Disability Act, 2005 and Citizens Information Act, 2007

6. Human Rights

  • History of human rights
  • United Nations Conventions: UNCRC UNCRPD
  • Fundamental rights in the Constitution Art 40


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Assignment Applied Continuous Assessment Individual Project 50 % Week 4 1,2,3,4,5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Exam - formal Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Law lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom seminar activities 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Hamilton C. (2011) Irish Social Work and Social Care Law Dublin: Gill Education
Davenport R. (2009) Fundamentals of Irish Law Dublin: Gill and Macmillan

O' Brien E.Z. and Prangnell M. (2015)Childhood Social, Legal Health Studies Dublin: Gill Education

Murray C. & Urban M. (2010) Diversity & Equality in Early Childhood An Irish Perspective Dublin Gill & M

Flood E. (2013) Assisting Children with Special needs An Irish Perspective Dublin Gill (2nded)

Mhic Mhathuna M. & Taylor M. (2012) Early Childhood Education & Care Dublin Gill & Macmillan
Doolan B. (200) Principles of Irish Law Dublin: Gill and Macmillan

O Malley T. (2001) Sources of Law 2ed Dublin: Round Hall Sweet and Maxwell

Donovan D. (2010) The Irish Legal System Dublin: Round Hall Nutshells

Kenneally A. and Tully J. (2013) The Irish Legal System Dublin: Clarus Press

Byrne R. and McCutcheon P. (2014) Byrne & McCutchean on the Irish Legal System (6th ed) Bloomsbury
Ryan F. (2008) Constitutional law Dublin: Thomson Roundhall

Kinsella J. (2008) Health, Safety and Welfare Law in Ireland Dublin: Gill and Macmillan

Moore Walsh K.(2010) Make that Grade: Irish Tort law Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 3rd ed
Kilkelly U. (2008) Children's Rights in Ireland Law, Policy and Practice Dublin: Tottel publishing
Shannon G. (2010) Child Law (2nd edn) Dublin: Round Hall
Nestor J. (2009) Irish Family Law Dublin: Gill Education

Williams G. Learning the Law London: Sweet & Maxwel


URL Resources

Westlaw accessed via library website 



Other Resources

Bunreacht na hEireann

Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments

Pre-school Inspection reports  

Reports/investigations of the office of Ombudsman for Children 

Law Reform Commission reports

Law Society Gazette  Irish Times   

Additional Information

A court visit is mandatory