Best Interests: The “Gold Standard” or a Gold Plating? Cover Image

Best Interests: The “Gold Standard” or a Gold Plating?
Best Interests: The “Gold Standard” or a Gold Plating?

Should Significant Harm be a Threshold Criterion in Paediatric Cases?

Author(s): William Seagrim
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Ethics / Practical Philosophy
Published by: Trivent Publishing
Keywords: paediatrics; law; parental responsibility; public children law
Summary/Abstract: As a yardstick in paediatric cases, best interests is branded the ‘gold standard’. Some commentators suggest that it insufficiently protects parents from state intervention, calling for an enabling significant harm threshold. In this chapter, I argue that such submissions are devoid of any legal basis and that, in any event, their undergirding justifications are misconceived. Inter alia, I suggest that comparisons to public children law are erroneous and that significant harm proponents overlook routine state interference with parental responsibility. I also argue that the consequences of a threshold are illogical and the gold standard’s detractors miscategorise as weakness its most precious attribute.

  • Page Range: 51-77
  • Page Count: 27
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English