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Children & the Law

Legal issues relating to children more often than not overlap with family law and youth justice.¹ There are a variety of categories and sub-categories pertaining to children and the law, including¹:

  • Relevant ages: age of majority; criminal liability; possession and consumption of alcohol; ability to obtain a driver's license; ability to work; sexual consent; marriage; ability to make a will
  • Parental rights and responsibilities: custody and guardianship; access; maintenance; interjurisdictional support orders; giving up a child; discipline
  • Child protection: best interests of the child; duty to report need for protection
  • Removal: removal procedure; presentation hearing; protection hearing; orders; access and consent orders; rights of children in care of the director; priority in placing children with a relative; priority in placing Aboriginal children with an Aboriginal family
  • Adoption: consent to adoption
  • School: compulsory attendance and registration; discipline; school records; language of instruction
  • Leaving home: rights of the child
  • Medical attention: obligation to provide treatment; consent to treatment
  • Wills and estates: ability to inherit under a will; ability to make a will
  • Contracts
  • Motor vehicles: ability to obtain a license; Insurance Motor Vehicle Act; parents' libaility
  • Employment and unemployment: ability to work; entry level wage; employment insurance; workers' compensation; income assistance for children and youth; child disability benefit; universal childcare benefit
  • Civil actions: infant as plaintiff; infant as defendant; infant as witness; parental responsibility; statute of limitations.




1. Access Justice. Children and the Law. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from


Categories within Children & the Law

Crimes Against Children

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Crimes against children include physical and emotional abuse; neglect; and exploitation, such as through child pornography or sex trafficking of minors.

Child Advocacy

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To advocate for someone is to speak or write, support or argument, in favor of them publicly. The primary goal of child advocacy is, thus, to elevate the voice of youth.

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