Responsible Parents and Parental Responsibility by Rebecca Probert, Stephen Gilmore, Jonathan Herring

By Rebecca Probert, Stephen Gilmore, Jonathan Herring

The scope of 'parental responsibility,' a key idea in family members legislations, is undefined and infrequently ambiguous. but, thus far, extra cognizance has been paid to how participants collect parental accountability than to the query of the rights, powers, tasks, and duties they've got after they receive it. This e-book redresses the stability through delivering the 1st sustained exam of the various components of parental accountability present in English legislation, bringing jointly major students to touch upon particular features of its operation. The publication starts through exploring the conceptual underpinnings of parental accountability within the context of oldsters' (and kid's) rights in England. It then discusses the purchase, workout, and finishing of parental accountability. The research highlights the inherent constraints and obstacles of 'parental accountability' and the way its scope has intentionally been curtailed in yes contexts. The e-book then considers what parental accountability permits and calls for in particular components, comparable to: naming a toddler, schooling, non secular upbringing, scientific therapy, corporal punishment, facing any contracts entered into or estate owned by means of the kid, representing the kid in criminal court cases, consenting to a kid's marriage or civil partnership, and the law's reaction to the dying of a kid. within the ultimate part, the assumption of the 'responsible mother or father' is taken into account within the contexts of kid aid, touch legislation, tort legislation, and legal legislations.

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The point is that the overwhelming majority of biological parents have much more than a ‘mere genetic link’ with their children. They also perform, in most cases at least for a period of time, a psychological or social parenting role. 59 In any event, we ought not to allow the tail to wag the dog. The definition of parent should be constructed to reflect the more usual circumstances of parenthood and ought not to be driven by an unrepresentative minority. When we are engaging then in this suggested balancing exercise, we ought in most cases to allow for the fact that the biological parent’s claim is likely to rest on a good deal more than biology, whereas the claim of other people can only be based on a social or psychological contribution and acting as a substitute parent.

This recognises that a parent has a right to respect for his or her family life, which can be interfered with only if necessary in the interests of another individual (notably a child). It would be wrong to suggest that all areas of the law recognise parental discretion to the same extent. Lynn Hagger’s chapter, on the exercise of parental responsibility over health care issues, shows the willingness of the courts to overrule parental decisions in the medical context, even where the parent’s decision is not obviously mistaken.

In R (G) v Nottingham CC,39 Munby J made a peremptory order which required the local authority to reunite mother and child forthwith on the basis that the authority had acted unlawfully in taking the child from the mother without any prior court order. Later that day, the authority did what it should have done in the first place and obtained an interim care order from a judge. How are we to view this unfortunate episode? If we believe in the priority thesis, we are forced into the position that the only legitimate interest at stake here was the baby’s interest in not being unlawfully removed from his mother.

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