chapter  2
18 Pages

Some general legal principles and the forum for cases

ByMary Ryan

This chapter comments first on the bringing together of private and public law. It then explores the principles which guide all courts in making decisions under the Children Act 1989, explains the principle of 'parental responsibility'. It describes the private law orders available and how they link with the public law. The private law governs relations between different individuals. Public law governs the powers and duties of local authorities and other organisations towards children and families, and it controls the extent of state intervention in family life. The Family Law Act 1996, Part IV (Family Homes and Domestic Violence) which came into force on 1 October 1997, provides a unified framework for regulating the occupation of a home and for the protection of children and adults from domestic violence or molestation. Children, parents, and other people with parental responsibility have an automatic entitlement to Legal Aid in care, supervision, child assessment and emergency protection proceedings.