LAW08010 2016 Child law

General Details

Full Title
Child law
Transcript Title
Child Law
N/A %
Subject Area
LAW - Law
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Deirdre McCaffrey
Programme Membership
SG_WSOCI_H08 201600 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

This module addresses the substantial body of child law, including perspectives and sources of children's rights before progressing into more substantive aspects of child law such as child protection, standards in alternative care settings for children, mental health and offences against children. The course also engages with courtcraft in the context of the child.  The influence of the Constitution and international conventions in shaping child law is a central theme running through the module.  

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Domain 3 Safety and Quality

Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills

Learning Outcomes

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


Critically appraise the nature of the legal framework pertaining to alternative care for children (Domain 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 1.13, 3.13, 5.1, 5.14)


Assess the significent role played by international conventions in influencing and shaping the rights of children at national level and furthermore how children can participlate in realising rights denied due to maladministration. (Domain 3.13, 5.1)


Trace the development and critically analyse the law relating to offences against children with particular focus on the committal of sexual offences and legislative efforts made to combat them. 


Engage with court practice and procedure including preparing reports and the giving of evidence including that by children (Domain 5.1)


Analyse regulatory provisions relating to the vulnerable child, including those suffering from mental health and those seeking asylum (Domain 1.1, 1.5, 5.1)


Explore issues concerning best interests of child and wishes of child in the context of judicial and administrative decisions (Domain 1.1, 5.1) 

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Formal lecture and weekly seminars -

case studies, case scenarios, visiting lecturers 

Module Assessment Strategies

Final Exam - 30%

self-directed researched written assignment - 70% 

This modules assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:

Self-directed researched written assignment (Domain 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 1.13, 3.13, 5.1, 5.14)

Final Exam (Domain 1.1, 1.9, 5.1)

Repeat Assessments

as above

Indicative Syllabus

1 Children in alternative care  

  •    Children Act, 2001 
  •    special care orders
  •    children in detention 
  •    children in alternative care - regulations and standards

2 Criminal offences and children  

  • committal of offences against children including sexual abuse; Sexual Offences Act, 2001
  • Protective legislation for children other than Child Care Act, 1991- Criminal Justice Act 2006 - Reckless endangerment; Protected Disclosures Act, 2014, Witholding Information Act, 2012  


3 Children and the court system 

  • Civil, criminal and public law 
  • evidence of children - video-link, in chambers, taking the stand, 
  • representation of children - party to proceedings, guardian- ad -litem 
  • report writing for court 


4 miscellaneous 

  • Historical dimension and source
  • best interests and wishes of child -
  • children and consent issues
  • Succession rights of children
  • Ombudsman for children


5 International dimension of child law  

  •    United Nations Convention on Rights of Child - monitoring system  
  •    European Convention on Human Rights -  
  •    European Convention on Exercise of Children's rights

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Assignment - individually selected Continuous Assessment Assignment 70 % Week 8 1,2,3,4,5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam - formal Final Exam Closed Book Exam 30 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Tiered Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Tiered Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Irish Social Work and social Care law Claire Hamilton 2011 Dublin Gill and Macmillan 9780717152667

Law of Child Care, Jim Nestor, 2010, 2nd ed, Butterworths

Children's Rights in Ireland, Law Policy and Practice, Ursula Kilkelly (2008) Thomsom Roundhall

Child Law, Geoffrey Shannon, Thomson Roundhall 2010 2nd ed

Children's rights and the Developing Law J Fortin Butterworths 2003

Constitutional Law in Ireland  J Casey Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell 2000

Constitutional Law   F Ryan Gill & Macmillan 2001

The Child and the European Convention on Human Rights  U Kilkelly Ashgate 1999

The Politics of Children's Rghts  F Martin  Cork University Press 2000

The Child Care Acts P Ward Thomson Round Hall 2005

On Behalf of Child: Child Welfare, Child Protection and the Child Care Act  H Ferguson and P Kenny 2005

Best Interests of the Child E. Mc Partland 



URL Resources 

{to be extended} 

Other Resources

westlaw database accessed through library website 

Bunreacht na hEireann

Acts of the Oireachtas

International Conventions

Departmental guidelines

(Public Reports) Law Commission Reports  Departmental reports  Special reports

Reports of public bodies

International reports

Additional Information

Guest lecturers

Selected topics may be delivered in greater detail from year to year - topics not included above may be delivered subject to institute procedures for amending syllabi