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Unit information: International Child Law in 2015/16

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Unit name International Child Law
Unit code LAWD30124
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Masson
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


International child law covers aspects of both public and private international law, examining the way that children’s rights have been protected and furthered using different forms of international law. The initial focus is on the recognition of children’s rights and the development, purpose, contents and mechanisms of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Specific areas of International Child Law and the legal instruments applying to them are explored:- Abduction (Hague Conventions 1980 and 1996, Brussels IIb), Inter country Adoption (Hague Convention 1993), Child Labour , and Trafficking / sex tourism. These latter topics lead to consideration of the children’s rights work of the International Labour Organisation, of the Council of Europe and of NGOs. Questions of controls of trade for social reasons, and extra-territoriality of the criminal law will be considered.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key international instruments relating to child rights and welfare and to the processes through which they are implemented
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding key concepts as applied to child abduction and adoption in private international law
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the operation of international law in relation to children, using examples of problems and the laws brought to bear on them
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills
  • Demonstrate skills in finding and assessing international legal materials and web sources
  • Apply analysis/ synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation

Teaching details

23 lectures (including enhancement events) and 7 tutorials

Assessment Details

Two summative pieces of coursework of 2,000 words, each contributing 50% to the final mark.

Formative: students will be required to complete one piece of formative assessment. They will have the opportunity to produce a case note in the autumn term and a presentation handout in spring term and receive feedback.

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child CRAE, The state of Children’s rights in England (2013) Country Reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child T. Buck, International Child Law (2014) R. Schuz, The Hague Child Abduction Convention (2013) P. Selman (ed) Intercountry Adoption BAAF (2000)