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- Total Pages: 1168
- Genre: Family law: children
- Secondary Genre: Offences against the person, Comparative law, Child abuse
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'.
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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, Oxford.
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