Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law Is Approved

Unlike some other legal secondary sources, Restatements are very authoritative, meaning that they can be good to cite in legal documents. Produced by scholars from the American Law Institute, the Restatements provide a clear overview of the law in a given area (the “blackletter law”) and additionally provide helpful comments and illustrations. Some of the topics covered by Restatements include: torts, contracts, trusts, and unfair competition. Not all legal topics have a corresponding Restatement, while other topics may be in the draft stage.

The American Law Institute’s membership voted this month to approve Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law, the first Restatement to comprehensively examine the legal regulation of children. This Restatement covers issues such as parental rights and state intervention in cases of abuse and neglect; the rights of students and the limits of state authority in public schools; the rights and special protections of youth in both the juvenile and criminal justice systems, from police contact to dispositions and sentencing; and children as legal persons, covering free-speech rights and the authority of minors to consent to certain medical decisions, among other things.  Until the official text is published, the drafts approved by the membership are the official position of ALI, and may be cited as such.

Restatements can be found on both Lexis and Westlaw and in print.  Check the law library’s catalog for the titles in print.