Children’s Amendment passed in the Republic of Ireland

Date: 10th November 2012
Category: General measures of implementation

On 10 November the Republic of Ireland passed the Thirty First Amendment to the Constitution, which provides additional rights protections for children

(through the incorporation of Article 42A).

As Save the Children works towards primary legislation in Northern Ireland to protect the rights of children, this is a step in the right direction.

Analysis of Article 42A by Liam Thornton, lecturer in law and director of clinical legal education at the UCD school of law states:

  • It will provide further constitutional recognition of the rights of the child, in harmony with the essential and important role of the family in the life of the child already recognised under the Irish Constitution;
  • In exceptional cases will allow the State to intervene in a proportionate manner where the safety or welfare of a child is prejudically affected;
  • Will allow the State to equalise adoption laws and allow any child to be placed for adoption;
  • In proceedings relating to adoption, custody, access to a child, the best interests of the child will be the paramount consideration AND a child capable of forming a view on matters relating to adoption, custody and access, will have their views heard (not necessarily followed) in these proceedings.