The American Law Institute Approves Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law


Last week, members of the American Law Institute (ALI) voted to approve the Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law. This project was launched in 2015 and covers issues such as parental rights and state intervention in cases of abuse and neglect; the rights of students and the limits of state authority in public schools; the rights and special protections of youth in both the juvenile and criminal justice systems; and children as legal persons, covering free-speech rights and the authority of minors to consent to certain medical decisions.

The Restatement is organized in four Parts: Children in Families, Children in Schools, Children in the Justice System, and Children in Society. ALI states that the project aims to present a contemporary conception of parental rights and authority with the promotion of child welfare as a core goal, while grappling with questions about the legal personhood of children.

According to the ALI’s press release, the Reporters are working on preparing the Institute’s official text for publication. Reporters are authorized to correct and update citations and other references, to make editorial and stylistic improvements, and to implement any remaining substantive changes agreed to during discussion with the membership or by motions approved at the Annual Meeting. Until the official text is published, the drafts approved by the membership are the official position of ALI, and may be cited as such.

Jenkins library has access to the tentative drafts and case citations of Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law in print, remotely for most members through HeinOnline, and on our Westlaw terminals (on-site access only).

For a list of Restatements and how to access them, we encourage users to look at our Restatements Research Guides.

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