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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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The Standard of the Best Interests of the Child

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Claire BreenUniversity of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

ISBN13: 9789041118516
ISBN: 9041118519
Published: July 2004
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Format: Hardback
Price: £153.00

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This text examines the application of the standard of the best interests of the child in the context of international law. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises the best interests standard as being one of its guiding principles. The question of whether the best interests standard succeeds in reaching this goal is the central theme of this book. The point of departure for this analysis is that of the best interest standard being a Western notion based on an idea of the child as an innocent in need of protection. However, difficulties arise when the best interests standard has to be applied to a child who does not fit these criteria. Consideration is then given to the malleability of the standard which allows it to overcome such difficulties and to justify its position as one of the guiding principles underpinning children's rights at the domestic and international level.

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Introduction. I. Introduction to the Standard of the Best Interests of the Child as a Tradition. II. Traditions of the Western Child: The Social and Legal Constructions of Innocence and the Standard of the Best Interests of the Child. III. Genital Impairment of the Girl-Child: Female Genital Mutilation within the Framework of the Best Interests of the Western Child. IV. Non-Interventionism, Parental Rights, and the Best Interests of the Child: Traditions Governing Child Protection Discourse of Ireland. V. Death Row Kids and Philosopher-Kings: The Best Interests Standard and the Constitutionality of the Juvenile Death Penalty in the United States. VI. The Emerging Tradition of the Best Interests of the Child in the European Convention on Human Rights. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index.