The Child's Voice in Contact Disputes: Genuine Participation in Private Law Court Actions

Kirsteen Mackay

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Following the passage of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) State Parties been under an obligation to give children the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them. Exercising this right can be particularly problematic when children are asked to express a view on which parent they wish to live with or the amount of time they should spend with a parent they do not live with (contact). This book applies the principles of genuine participation and ethical consultation, as developed by social scientists, to the analysis of the participation of children in over 200 private law contact disputes, raised in Scotland. Included is a quantitative analysis of the views children expressed, and the impact of those views on the outcome of the case, as well as an analysis of the welfare concerns underpinning resistance to contact. In particular, exposure to domestic abuse negatively impacted on a child's wish to have on-going contact with his or her non-resident parent but such views did not always impact on the contact outcome. The findings of this original research project are of relevance to any jurisdiction which has ratified the UNCRC.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSaarbrucken
PublisherLambert Academic Publishing
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)978-3659130236
ISBN (Print)3659130230
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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