The private-public law divide: Does this legal design create an abyss to children's welfare?

Bidragets oversatte titel: Distinktionen mellem privat og offentlig ret: Skaber dette retlige design en afgrund for børns velfærd?

Idamarie Leth Svendsen, Annette Kronborg, Christina Gyldenløve Jeppesen-De Boer

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


In a Scandinavian perspective, the family and the individual have changed places during the 20th Century. Today, the law takes its starting point in the individual - not in the family. A consequence of this development is that it is no longer legally possible to relate the good family to a particular societal institution. Marriage as an institution has been individualized and the goodness of the family has to relate to the well-being of the individuals instead. This article shows that within this historical development the private-public law divide has not been seriously challenged. The inconsistencies stemming from it are demonstrated and it is shown how they imply a legal design more preoccupied with traditional divisions of power and positions than with an interest in the reality of the people it is aimed at. In the article it is argued from within the best ingerest principle that the historical development neccessitates a re-thinking of the distinction between child welfare law and family law. It shows how the distinction is nationally and institutionally embedded. Further, that the distinction has only been superficially adressed by the CRC Committee.
Bidragets oversatte titelDistinktionen mellem privat og offentlig ret: Skaber dette retlige design en afgrund for børns velfærd?
TidsskriftNordisk socialrättslig tidskrift
Udgave nummer7-8
Sider (fra-til)133-159
Antal sider26
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2013


  • Private-public law distinction
  • individualization
  • family care
  • national authorities
  • child welfare, best interest of the child
  • child protection

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