Child Abuse

Child Abuse : Law and Policy Across Boundaries

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There is universal agreement that 'something must be done' about child abuse, that the legal and policy frameworks established for the protection of children are inadequate. Time and again this is brought home by cases that reveal major failures in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse suspects. There is much less clarity about what qualifies as child abuse and what should be done about it. Failings in the law are often invoked by politicians and the media at times of crisis, when a societal response is demanded. The presence of new legislation on the statute book or the creation of rules and protocols which professionals must follow is one socially acceptable sign that the problem has been recognised and that an effective response has been implemented. Are these ad hoc responses helpful? If not, what should be done to address the current weaknesses in the protection of children? This book looks across legal and geographical boundaries to consider the law and policy on child abuse. It examines the whole process of child protection, from complaint investigation to prosecution, and analyses the legal disciplines of criminal, family, tort and evidence law as they bear on child abuse cases. Material is drawn from over 75 jurisdictions, including major empirical research in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Throughout the book's focus is on achieving a coherent program for reforming the law and practices responsible for child protection. Its contribution to policy debates was recognised by the Judges of the 2008 Inner Temple Book Prize who, in awarding it the prize for outstanding legal scholarship, heralded it as a 'masterly book on a hugely important subject', one that will 'make an outstanding contribution to the formation and understanding of legal policy'.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 1164 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 54mm | 1,301.8g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199571562
  • 9780199571567
  • 875,041

About Laura C.H. Hoyano

Laura Hoyano holds three degrees from the University of Alberta in Canada in medieval history and law, and the BCL (Balliol College Oxford). In 1994 she accepted an academic appointment at the Law Faculty of the University of Bristol. In 1999 she became a Tutorial Fellow and CUF Lecturer at Wadham College, Oxford University, where she teaches Evidence, Criminal and Tort Law. Together with colleagues at Bristol University, Caroline Keenan and Laura Hoyano were co-directors of a major empirical and comparative law study funded by the Home Office, An Assessment of the Admissibility and Sufficiency of Evidence in Child Abuse Prosecutions (HMSO 1999), which contributed to the eventual enactment of Special Measures Directions in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Laura Hoyano has published and lectured extensively about litigating child abuse in different fields of law, in England and North America. Caroline Keenan graduated in law from the University of Sheffield, where she also completed her PhD on the investigation of cases of child abuse. She then lectured in Criminal and Family Law and Criminology at the University of Bristol and the University of Durham, then subsequently at the University of Bristol. In addition to the empirical study on the prosecution of child abuse, An Assessment of the Admissibility and Sufficiency of Evidence in Child Abuse Prosecutions, she was commissioned by the Home Office to conduct a review of the law on sexual offences against children and vulnerable adults which contributed to the law reform enacted by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. She has published widely in the field of child protection law, focusing on family and criminal law and the law relating to the investigation of abuse. Caroline Keenan is currently a visiting Research Fellow in law at the University of Bristol and a member of the Senior Common Room at Wadham College, more

Table of contents

PART I: THEMES AND QUESTIONS ; 1. Introduction ; PART II: THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR ADJUDICATING ALLEGATIONS ; 2. Family Law ; 3. Liability in Criminal Law ; 4. Liability in Tort and Human Rights Law ; PART III : THE INQUIRY PROCESS ; 5. Investigation and Evalutating Allegations of Abuse ; PART IV: ADJUDICATION OF THE ALLEGATION ; 6. Introduction: Themes and Influences ; 7. Access to Evidence ; 8. The Child Witness ; 9. Testing the Credibility of the Child Complainant ; 10. Testing the Credibility of the Alleged Abuser ; 11. The Admissibility of Expert Evidence ; PART V: CHILD ABUSE LAW AND POLICY: EVALUATION ; 12. Themes and Future Directionsshow more

Review quote

Judges have described this as a "masterly book on a hugely important subject", "an inspiring achievement" and "an invaluable source of ideas and law, theory and practice", not only for practitioner and academic but for policy makers and indeed for all concerned with reform and administration of the law. The panel of judges believes that the book will indeed make an outstanding contribution to the formation and understanding of legal policy and thus to the administration of law in this country. They unanimously agree that, of all the fine entries, this book most clearly satisfies the criteria laid down for the award of the prize.' * Judges of the Inner Temple Book Prize 2008 * This book will be invaluable for anyone working in any area of academic law related to child abuse, but will also be of interest to those in practice in this tricky area. Hoyano and Keenan have made a truly outstanding contribution to the literature on this important topic, and I truly recommend their book most warmly. * Robert H. George, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 23, 2009 *show more