25th anniversary of implementation of Children Act 1989


The 14th October 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the substantive implementation of the Children Act 1989 heralded by the then Lord Chancellor as the ‘most comprehensive and far reaching reform of child law which has come before Parliament in living memory’. This Act brought together for the first time public law and private law concerning children into a single statutory framework.

The Association of Lawyers for Children (the ALC), one of the main bodies of family solicitors promoting access to justice for children and young people within the legal system in England and Wales, noted the anniversary by stating:

“The introductory text to the Children Act 1989 states that this is ‘An Act to reform the law relating to children’ – a modest understatement … The Act, crucially, established children’s welfare as paramount in making decisions about a child’s upbringing. That standard has stood the test of time and remains crucial.”

Whilst many other Acts of Parliament have made it onto the statute books only to be revised and in some cases repealed, this Act has remained for the most part unchanged and continues to remain the first point of law on any issue concerning children coming before the Court.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk