Journal Article

The Meaning and Allocation of Parental Responsibility — A Common Lawyer's Perspective

N. V. Lowe

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 11, issue 2, pages 192-215
Published in print August 1997 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 1997 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
The Meaning and Allocation of Parental Responsibility — A Common Lawyer's Perspective

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The concept of ‘parental responsibility’ has gained world wide recognition as the term to be used to describe the modern view of the parents' position in relation to their children. However, the concept is neither easy to define nor is it beyond argument as to who should be vested with responsibility. This article first explores whether a domestic statute or international instrument can or should attempt to define what parental responsibility means and, if so, what that definition should be. It concludes that a meaningful definition can and should be given and that a good model can be found in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (though the more succinct definition as recommended by the Council of Ministers in 1984 might be more appropriate for an international instrument).

The second issue explored by the paper is the allocation of parental responsibility and in particular the case for and against vesting automatic parental responsibility in unmarried fathers. It concludes that there does seem to be a strong case (though not yet an obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights) for allocating automatic parental responsibility to all parents regardless of marital status.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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