This Article sets forth a new paradigm for describing, understanding, and shaping children’s relationship to law. The existing legal regime, which we term the “authorities framework,” focuses too narrowly on state and parental control over children, reducing children’s interests to those of dependency and the attainment of autonomy. In place of this limited focus, we envision a “new law of the child” that promotes a broader range of children’s present and future interests, including children’s interests in parental relationships and nonparental relationships with children and other adults; exposure to new ideas; expressions of identity; personal integrity and privacy; and participation in civic life. Once articulated, these broader interests lay the foundation for a radical reconceptualization of the field of children and law. We propose a new tripartite framework of relationships, responsibilities, and rights that aims to transform how law treats children and their interactions with others. The framework addresses children’s needs for state and parental control in many instances while also moving beyond those concerns to foster children’s interests in the here and now.
Anne C. Dailey & Laura A. Rosenbury, The New Law of the Child, 127 Yale L.J. 1448 (2018).