State's rights and kids wronged

How can the state's appalling record in protecting children in its care be a reason for enshrining its powers over children in the Constitution, asks Tom McGurk.

29th September, 2012
It should be recognised that here is a constitutional referendum profoundly different to almost anything we have had to vote on to date.

Even a cursory glance at the wording of the proposed children's referendum points up the huge legal complexities involved. It's not that guaranteeing children's constitutional rights is complex, it's that it has to be done within the established architecture of the Constitution.

How difficult that problem is can be seen from the legal high-wire act that those framing the wording of the proposed referendum have had to perform between existing parts of the Constitution.


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