oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - From rights to responsibilities? An overview of recent developments relating to the parent/child relationship in South African common law

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The article examines the parent/child relationship in South African law in the light of recent legal developments in this country. It further assesses the influence of international conventions and the constitutionalisation of children's rights on South African jurisprudence in this regard. The article seeks further to place the developments in South African child law within an international context with particular reference to developments in the law relating to parental authority and guardianship, custody and developments in the law relating to corporal punishment and domestic violence, particularly from the perspective of children. Children's rights to autonomy in medical decision-making are also analysed with special reference to recent proposals for changes by the South African Law Commission in its Review of the Child Care Act and proposals for a single statute regulating all matters relating to child law. The article includes some discussion of the position of extra-marital children and their relationship with their parents and concludes with a brief discussion of the socio-economic rights of many poverty-stricken South African children, especially those who will be affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic fr whom there may well be no-one who assumes the role of parent.

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