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This book examines the potential impact of human rights in the way the law interacts with families. Traditionally family law has been dominated by consequentialist/utilitarian themes. The most notable example of this occurs in the law relating to children and the employment of the "welfare principle". This requires the court to focus on the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration. Hitherto the courts and, to a certain extent, family law academics, have firmly rejected the use of the language of rights, preferring the discretion and child-centred focus of welfare. However, the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights via the Human Rights Act now requires family law to deal more clearly with the competing rights that family members can hold. In addition, it is clear that, to date, the courts have largely ignored or minimised the different demands that the HRA imposes on the judiciary and, in particular, judicial reasoning. This book challenges that view and suggests ways in which the family courts may improve their reasoning in this field. No longer can cases be dealt with on the basis of a simple utilitarian calculation of what is in the best interests of the child and other family members - greater transparency is required. The book clarifies the different rights that family members can hold and, in particular, identifies ways in which it may be possible to deal with the clash of rights between family members that will inevitably occur. Whether this requires an abandonment of the utilitarian nature of family law, or a reworking of it, is a theme that runs throughout the book.
The Human Rights Act 1998 provides, for the first time, for the enforcement of the European Convention on Human Rights against a public authority directly, through any level of the domestic courts. Several Articles of the European Convention have been specifically drafted to deal with the rights of the family. Implementation of the Act will throw up a number of important issues for family lawyers, who must understand the scope of the Act or risk exposure to possible negligence claims. Family Law and the Human Rights Act 1998 explains the family-law related aspects of the Act and assesses the implications of the Act to family lawyers.
The Present and Future of European Family Law explores the essence of European family law – and what its future may be. It compares and analyses existing laws and court decisions, identifies trends in legislation and jurisprudence, and also forecasts (and in some cases proposes) future developments. It establishes that while there is, at present, no comprehensive European family law, elements of an ‘institutional European family law’ have been created through decisions by the European Court on Human Rights and by the Court of Justice of the European Union as well as other EU instruments. At the same time an ‘organic European family law’ is beginning to emerge. The laws in many European jurisdictions have developed similarly and have ‘grown together’, not only as a result of the aforementioned institutional pressures, but also as a result of societal developments, and comparable reactions to medical and societal advances and changes. Hence there already is a body of institutional and organic European family law, and it will continue to grow. This book, and the others in the set, will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in family law. It will be of particular use to students and scholars of comparative and international family law, as well as family law practitioners.
After more than 30 years of discussion, negotiations between the Council of Europe and the European Union on the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights have resulted in a Draft Accession Agreement. This will allow the EU to accede to the Convention within the next couple of years. As a consequence, the Union will become subject to the external judicial supervision of an international treaty regime. Individuals will also be entitled to submit applications against the Union, alleging that their fundamental rights have been violated by legal acts rooted in EU law, directly to the Strasbourg Court. As the first comprehensive monograph on this topic, this book examines the concerns for the EU's legal system in relation to accession and the question of whether and how accession and the system of human rights protection under the Convention can be effectively reconciled with the autonomy of EU law. It also takes into account how this objective can be attained without jeopardising the current system of individual human rights protection under the Convention. The main chapters deal with the legal status and rank of the Convention and the Accession Agreement within Union law after accession; the external review of EU law by Strasbourg and the potential subordination of the Luxembourg Court; the future of individual applications and the so-called co-respondent mechanism; the legal arrangement of inter-party cases after accession and the presumable clash of jurisdictions between Strasbourg and Luxembourg; and the interplay between the Convention's subsidiarity principle (the exhaustion of local remedies) and the prior involvement of the Luxembourg Court in EU-related cases. The analysis presented in this book comes at a crucial point in the history of European human rights law, offering a holistic and detailed enquiry into the EU's accession to the ECHR and how this move can be reconciled with the autonomy of EU law.
Exploring the main developments and challenges for the right to family life in the context of European integration, this book examines the right to family life in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the interplay between family life, citizenship, and free movement; it analyzes the combined impact of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights on the concept of the family protected by the law in light of recent case law. Considering the broadening understanding of what constitutes family, the challenges for the right to family life in the context of immigration, and the protection of families and social rights it provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of family life in the European Union.
The European Convention on Human Rights is the most successful system for the enforcement of human rights in the world. However, to date its full potential for protecting children's rights has not been explored as attention has focused on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This unique book provides the first analysis of the extensive case law of the Commission and the Court of Human Rights on all issues concerning children and their rights. This study is important as a study of the regional protection of children's rights and, moreover, the case law itself can be directly applied in the legal system of nearly every European country, including the UK. The book includes chapters on the rights of the child under the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to education, protection from abuse, the right to identity, child care, juvenile justice, health care and immigration and the family. It also explores the potential of the Strasbourg mechanism for the protection of children's rights and thus provides a practical and vital guide to the study and use of the European Convention in the broad area of children's rights.
This title is the product of a conference hosted by a team of human rights academics at University College Dublin in June 2013 and features articles by leading Irish and international academic experts, practitioners and advocates in the human rights field. It combines theoretical as well as practical analysis and integrates perspectives from a broad range of actors in the human rights field. None of the material has been published previously. The book 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of Ireland's ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights and the 10th anniversary of the Convention's incorporation into domestic law, by means of the ECHR Act 2003. It contains a wealth of essays and articles by leading experts which examine Ireland's engagement with the European Convention on Human Rights at international level down through the years as well as the extent to which the case law of the European Court of Human Rights has influenced domestic human rights law and administrative action through the vehicle of the 2003 Act. It analyses current Strasbourg jurisprudence on key issues and project its likely implications on law and policy in the Contracting States, with particular reference to Irish domestic law. The book addresses the difficult questions that arise for judges in both jurisdictions following the constitutionalisation of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2009 and the revised agreement of the EU's accession to the ECHR. The impact of the ECHR in Irish law is a particularly rich subject for analysis, given the strong tradition of rights review by the Irish judiciary in interpreting the fundamental rights guarantees in the Irish Constitution. While the Irish statute is superficially similar to the Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom, the context in which it operates is radically different, given the pre-eminent role of the Irish Constitution in shaping domestic human rights law. As well as outlining the specific domestic context in which the ECHR operates in Ireland, the book also includes comparative insights from the United Kingdom context as to the impact of the Human Rights Act to date in that jurisdiction. Additional themes of the book include the development of ECHR jurisprudence and its effects in the domestic setting on asylum, immigration, criminal justice, children, mental health patients, gender recognition and the limits and potential of the ECHR as regards combating poverty.
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