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The child in European human rights law

Trotter, Sarah (2018) The child in European human rights law. Modern Law Review, 81 (3). 452 - 479. ISSN 0026-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2230.12341


This article examines the category of ‘the child’ in European human rights law, based on an analysis of the child‐related jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. It argues that a full account of legal selfhood is constructed through the notion of ‘the child’ in this jurisprudence. The two notions – of ‘the child’ and ‘the self’ – are, from the outset, mutually dependent. The conceptualisation of ‘the child’ in human rights law is underpinned by an account of the self as originating in another and childhood is cast as enabling self‐understanding by making possible the formation of a narrative about the self. The vision of ‘the self’ that emerges is one of ‘the narrative self’, and I assess the implications of this both for the idea of childhood in which this narrative originates and for the vision of the human condition that is expressed in European human rights law more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2018 16:27
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:38

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