module specification

LC7035 - Child Law and Practice (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Child Law and Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 13.5
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 120
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
96 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Open Book Examination 100%   3 hour examination
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

 This module offers a balance between the teaching of substantive law, practice and practical skills and focuses on common types of cases dealt with by child law lawyers.

The aims of the Child Law and Practice elective are to prepare students for work-based learning in a child law department; and provide a foundation for practice generally and child law work in particular.

Prior learning requirements

Qualifying Law Degree


Private Law Children matters
Public law Children  matters
Child Abduction

Covers all Learning Outcomes

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

8 one-hour tutor-led sessions (TLS) (40 learning hours) and 8 two-hour student-led sessions (SLS) (80 learning hours). The TLS are one week ahead of the SLS’s to allow students time for reflection. Students are required to prepare questions in the SLS’s in advance of each session.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of this elective, successful students, under appropriate supervision, should have full transactional knowledge of the following elements of child law and practice:

1. demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and employ the applicable skills in child law practice
2. use the legal knowledge, skills, procedures and behaviours appropriate to each client in the child law client department and each transaction or matter
3. identify the overall nature of a child law transaction, then plan and progress that transaction or matter through a series of steps and decisions including, where appropriate, drafting documentation
4. identify the client's goals and alternative means of achieving those goals, and deal appropriately with client care
5. investigate and identify the relevant facts, research and identify the relevant legal issues, and advise the client on the legal consequences
6. recognise and act within the rules of professional conduct
7. identify the client’s reasonable expectations as to quality and timeliness of service

Element 1 – Private Law matters
At the end of this elective students will have the ability:

1. competently to advise a client in relation to a private law case, to include practical advice on funding and negotiation and the drafting relevant correspondence and documentation
2. competently to advise a client on issues of paternity and parental responsibility and have a full understanding of the law and its application on these issues
3. to understand court procedure up to and including a final hearing and be able to draft all necessary documentation to progress the case for an applicant
4. to provide appropriate advice to a client on the factors the court will take into account on an application for a private law orders and how they will be applied
5. to advise fully on domestic abuse and orders protecting children and their custodians and draft appropriate documentation
6. to understand the manner in which domestic abuse can effect applications concerning children.
Element 2 – Public law Matters

At the end of this elective students will:

1. be familiar with the role and duties of the local authority to provide services to children in need and the measures and applications it and other parties can make to protect and support children
2. be able to advise fully on procedure under the Public Law Outline and on the law relating to applications for care and supervision orders and how it is applied by the Court
3. have a full understanding of the management of a public law case, the rules of admissible evidence, including expert evidence and the range of orders available to the Court
4. be familiar with the concept of adoption and what it entails
5. have an understanding of who is able to adopt and the preliminary requirements for adoption orders
6. have an understanding of the concepts of parental consent and dispensing with it and
7. be familiar with the procedure for applying for an adoption order

Element 3 – Child Abduction

At the end of this elective students will:

1. be able to advise a client in relation to the law and procedure concerning potential and actual international child abduction and be able to draft appropriate documentation
2. have a full understanding of measures that can be taken to try and prevent a removal of a child from the UK.

Assessment strategy

 The assessment is an open book exam with advance disclosure of documents and is of a transactional nature. This form of assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context.

Students are given a formative assessment in the last SLS of the module which is self-assessed during this consolidation group SLS and they receive examiners' guidance.

The summative assessment is an open book exam with advance disclosure of documents and is of a transactional nature. This form of assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context. Students are offered individual feedback sessions with tutors following the release of marks and receive examiner’s guidance.


 Basic Texts
Family Law and Practice Manual, University of Law Publishing
White, Carr and Lowe ‘The Children Act in Practice’ 4th ed. Lexis Nexis

Online Materials
Supporting WebLearn materials and student study materials
Additional texts
Jonathan Herring, Family Law, Longman Law Series
Hayes and Williams' Family Law, OUP
Bromley’s Family Law, Lowe and Douglas, OUP
Standley, Family Law, Palgrave Law Masters
Cretney and Probert’s Family Law, Sweet and Maxwell
Cretney’s Principles of Family Law, Sweet and Maxwell
Burton, Family Law, Routledge, Taylor & Francis
Herschman and McFarlane: The Family Court Practice
The Law Society’s Family Law Protocol
Butterworth’s Family Law Service.
Bainham, A., Lindley, B., Richards, M., Trindler, L.  ‘Children and Their Families,’ Hart Publishing
McFarlane, A., Reardon, M. ‘Child Care and Adoption Law. A Practical Guide’ Family Law
Journals and Law Reports
(in addition to All England Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports)
Law Reports – Family Division
Family Law Reports

Electronic sources (Family Law Reports Online back to 1980) (general family database, includes Butterworths Family Law Service, Rayden & Jackson, Clarke Hall Morrison, Essential Family Practice, Legislation, Family Court Reports and Reporter, Unreported transcripts and Forms and Precedents from EF&P) (Jordans Publishing website) (Lord Chancellor’s Dept.) (useful for reported cases) (House of Lords website – good source of reported cases) (HMSO legislation) (The Law Society Library) (human rights) (general information) (general information – also provides useful links) (solicitors family lawyers association) (Court application forms and fees) (child rights information network) (advice/rep for children)