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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Child Law in Comparative Perspectives (LAWS11416)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to explore the legal status of children in Scots law, the law in other jurisdictions within the UK and the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Students from other jurisdictions will be encouraged and invited to share research findings from their home countries.
Course description The course will focus on the legal regulations as well as legal theory underlying the jurisdictional practices. A key focal point that will permeate the course will be how legal regulation reconciles with the civic, cultural, economic, political and social rights of children as enshrined in the UNCRC. The course will also look at the overall protections and their adequacy given to children in the different jurisdictions.

Indicative Teaching Programme:

Seminar 1 Introduction to the course and historical development of legal rights for children with reference to the set jurisdictions
Seminar 2 The legal definitions of 'child' and related rights, responsibilities and protections
Seminar 3 The right of the child to express a view
Seminar 4 Private law: welfare vs protection; parental control vs evolving capacity
Seminar 5 State intervention: best interests or significant harm thresholds?
Seminar 6 The age of criminal responsibility and criminal prosecution, jurisdictional consequences; international standardisation?
Seminar 7 Dealing with children who commit criminal offences
Seminar 8 To incorporate or not? UNCRC, is ratification sufficient?
Seminar 9 Religious and cultural issues, limitations and freedoms
Seminar 10 Roundup of the course and preparation for assessment
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment:

At each of the first five seminars, nominated students will be required to submit a 2-page written piece explaining the methodology they used in preparation for the seminar. This exercise will help each student to develop and consolidate an individualised and workable methodology that will be a transferable skill, and that can be used in the preparation for further seminars and summative assessment essays.

Summative Assessment:

This course will be assessed by a mid-semester essay of 2000 words that will represent 30% of the final mark; and an end of course essay of 3000 words that will represent 70% of the final mark.
Feedback Formative Assessment Feedback:

The submitted 2-page written methodology piece will be read by the seminar leader and feedback given at the following seminar.

Summative Assessment Feedback:

Written feedback will be provided for both the 2000 word (30%) and the 3000 word essays (70%). Feedback will be made available in Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop and enhance their understanding of the historical background that paved the way for the current legal status of children in the UK and other jurisdictions.
  2. Evidence a fuller understanding of the current issues that direct the focus of research in comparative child law.
  3. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge of the legislation that applies in the range of jurisdictions and the outcomes that the differences seek to achieve.
  4. Exhibit an extensive knowledge of the ways in which law changes to address the fast pace of societal changes.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and Abilities in Research and Enquiry:
- Students will be required to undertake comprehensive research in relation to the UK and other jurisdictions via paper and online research methods.

Skills and Abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy:
- Carry out detailed preparation and research for each seminar;
- Develop independent skills including how to prioritise reading and research materials;
- Learn to analyse rigorously academic and other sources;
- Develop verbal and written skills that will enable clear presentation of their findings and conclusions.

Skills and Abilities in Communication:
- Contribute to the seminars by engaging in class discussions;
- Learn skills that will allow them to present coherent arguments that support their viewpoint or opinion;
- Learn interpersonal communication skills of listening and taking on board other arguments;
- Prepare and deliver short presentations;
- Develop the skills of presenting their finished work for marked assessments.

Skills and Abilities in Personal Effectiveness:
- Develop study skills;
- Gain confidence to lead in-class short presentations;
- Develop effective time management skills including skills to help with prioritising important and relevant materials.
KeywordsChild Law,Law,Postgraduate,Comparative Perspectives,Family Law
Course organiserMrs Kathleen MacFarlane
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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