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Legal Concepts of Childhood

Editor(s): Julia Fionda
Media of Legal Concepts of Childhood
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Published: 04-12-2001
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781841131504
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £70.00
Online price : £63.00
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Loren Epson

About Legal Concepts of Childhood

Concepts of who and what children are and what childhood consists of have changed over time. Our historical and contemporary notions of childhood also change according to the context of the interaction between the child and the state. This book is concerned with various ideas of what childhood consists of where the child is involved with the legal system. An identification of legal concepts of childhood can offer many insights into our treatment of children,the capacities which we expect them (possibly unfairly) to possess and the extent of any protection which they deserve or can expect from those charged with the responsibility for their welfare. Each essay in this collection focuses on a particular legal discipline which centrally involves children whether as litigants, victims or perpetrators of crimes, owners of property, recipients of welfare services etc. The object of the analysis is to assess how children are regarded by lawyers in each discipline; for example, as objects of concern, requiring protection; as autonomous possessors of rights; as lacking in moral consciousness or full mental capacity; or as fully aware of and accountable for their actions. In order to make comparisons with notions of childhood in other contexts, the substantive part of the book will also include essays on the perspectives on childhood at the core of other disciplines including sociology, psychology, philosophy and literature.

Table Of Contents


1. Legal Concepts of Childhood: an Introduction
Julia Fionda

2. Sociological Perspectives and Media Representations of Childhood
Chris Jenks

3. Philosophical Perspectives on Childhood
David Archard

4. Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives
Quentin Spender and Alexandra John


5. Youth and Justice
Julia Fionda

6. Children in Court
Allan Levy QC

7. Law, Literature and the Child
Ian Ward

8. Children Through Tort
Roderick Bagshaw

9. The Medical Treatment of Children
Penney Lewis

10. The Minor as (a) Subject: the Case of Housing Law
David Cowan and Nick Dearden

11. The Child in Family Law
Michael Freeman

12. Children's Rights and Education
Paul Meredith

13. Children and Social Security Law
Nick Wikeley


“This publication provides a useful analysis of how our legal system views children. It will be of interest to all those involved with children in the legal system.” –  The Review Editor, ChildRIGHT

“The analyses presented here are accessible and, for readers who are unfamiliar with the law relating to children, they succeed in conveying some of the key shifts in thinking and policy that have taken place over the past two decades. The collection provides further evidence of the quality of the growing scholarship on children and the law.” –  Jeremy Roche, The Open University, Children and Society

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