Page 1 of 1

Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The desire to protect children from harm and to recognise their rights as autonomous individuals is an increasingly accepted goal in legal scholarship. The aim of this module is to consider the rights of children and how they may be advanced by the legal system. This involves gaining an understanding of the protection of children's rights both at domestic and international levels, as well as considering specific aspects of the law which impact upon children's lives.


This module covers: children's rights in the Irish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; child participation and representation in legal proceedings; child protection and children in care; youth justice; garda vetting procedures and mandatory reporting of child abuse; bullying; child abduction; adoption and; education.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On completion of this module, students should be able to: • Identify the rights of children under the Irish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. • Identify the ways in which the 'voice of the child' may be effectively heard in legal proceedings in the State. • Describe specific areas of law which impact upon children such as child protection legislation, law relating to criminal responsibility, procedures relating to vetting and reporting of child abuse and laws relating to bullying, child abduction, adoption and education. • Evaluate the extent to which children's rights are protected under Irish law. • Apply relevant legislation and case-law relating to children to hypothetical situations. • Develop a sufficient understanding of the rights of children and of the current law to be able to identify avenues for reform.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On completion of this module, students should: • Understand the specific needs and concerns of children in society. • Appreciate the ways in which law can help to improve the lives of children by affording adequate protection to their rights.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

The module is taught through lectures and tutorials which introduce students to contemporary challenges in child law. Students are then expected to engage in self-directed study to further explore the issues raised in class. This engagement is furthered through group discussions in tutorial settings. In introducing students to the rights of children and the specific concerns of this group within society, the module aims to help students in development of the UL graduate attributes. Particularly, students will become more articulate and knowledgeable by learning about the impact of the law upon a specific unit group of society (i.e. children). Recent developments in the area of child law, along with research findings are incorporated into the module via the recommended reading and study resources.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Kilkelly (2008) Children's Rights in Ireland: Law, Policy and Practice , Tottel Publishing
Shannon (2005) Child Law , Thomson Round Hall

Other Relevant Texts:

Crowley (2013) Family Law , Round Hall
Nestor (2011) An Introduction to Irish Family Law, 4th ed , Gill and MacMillan
Forde and Leonard (2013) Constitutional Law of Ireland, 3rd ed , Bloomsbury Professional
Shannon (2011) Adoption Law , Round Hall
Shannon (2011) Child Care Law , Round Hall
Walsh (2005) Juvenile Justice , Round Hall

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:


Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader:

Generic PRS