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Children and the law: Home

Subjects: Law

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers at the University of Oxford studying the legal status and laws relating to children in the domestic situation in times of peace, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for this aspect of family law including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.

Children and the law: quick start

Legislation defines the end of minority status in England as 18 years old, Family Law Reform Act 1969 s 1, at 18 years. (A reduction from 21)

"For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 art 1

This guide concentrates on the law of  England & Wales. If you are interested in the status & protection of children in international law we have another guide to help your studies. 

Printed resources

Halsbury's Laws is the encyclopaedia of law in the England and Wales. The most recent edition is shelved at KZ1 in the main Reading Room on Floor 2.  The volumes on Children and Young People will give you the most important cases, legislation and commentary in that area. Remember to use the Cumulative Supplement to check for any new developments in the law since the volume was printed. (OU members with a current Oxford SSO can access Halsbury's Laws electronically via Lexis®Library. See link below)

The collection of textbooks and monographs on English Law relating to Children and Young Persons is also in the main Reading Room, mainly with shelfmark marks beginning KN176.  However works on Family Law generally, shelved at KN170, may also have  relevant chapters, and you should also scan the books shelved at KN151.1 (children) and 151.2 (young persons). (Click on the tab Books above for more detail about classification.)

Law Library: Reserve Collection

When you search SOLO for texts you may find - especially if the text is recommended on an undergrad reading list - that the location is shown as "Law Library Reserve Collection."  Armed with your University Card/Reader's Ticket, please ask for these books at Enquiry Desk and they will be issued to you for use in the Library.

Related Bodleian Guides