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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: October 2009

1 - A Comparative Study of the Impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Law Reform in Selected Common Law Countries

Summary

INTRODUCTION

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the United Nations in 1989 and entered into force in 1990. The aim of this chapter is to assess the impact of this treaty on law review and reform in selected countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean that apply the common law tradition, to compare the progress achieved to date and to identify ways to further encourage its implementation. To understand the meaning and significance of the CRC under common law, which is the basis of the legal systems in numerous Commonwealth countries, it is useful to review how the common law developed originally, its main characteristics and its virtues. In those countries with a history as British territories or former colonies, such as the ones of the Caribbean region, the common law tradition still prevails. Many statutes continue to reflect English common law or were enacted with the intention of restating the common law through codification.

Some of the finest legal minds in England, such as Sir William Blackstone, have written extensively about the many virtues of the common law. The scope of this chapter is more limited because it focuses primarily on those specific characteristics that influence directly or indirectly the implementation of the CRC, one of the most widely ratified international human rights treaties.

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