Best Interests of the Child held as Gold Standard by United Nations

The legal doctrine of the "Best Interests of the Child" has always been held by American family law courts to be the standard by which any determination for children should be made. Now the United Nations has determined that it should be the global gold standard as well - a good sign for international law doctrines that will protect vulnerable individuals. The United States Senate, however, wants to affirm this - which would create a negative effect that would threaten the authority of state family courts as under international sovereignty. I have discussed this concern in my article Tracing the Foundations of the Best Interest of the Child Standard in American Jurisprudence, available the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1957143, noting that international jurisprudence should follow the best interests standard, rather than a rights framework for the protection of children; and I've discussed the United Nations problem of accountability for Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) signatory nations in not protecting children and vulnerable individuals in Suffer the Children: How the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Has Not Supported Children, also available SSRN at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1962681.

This July 12, 2012 article below by Karla Dial summarizes how this doctrine may be used to protect individuals with disabilities, something the US already does well through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but also how Senate ratification undermines federal and state sovereignty.

Affirming protective steps by the United Nations ought to be done without subordinating sovereignty of the United States of America and state family courts.

Senate Considers Adopting U.N Measure Regarding Disabled People

July 12, 2012
by Karla Dial

As a first step toward ratifying a controversial United Nations resolution, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing today on how to care for disabled people.

According to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the "best interests of the child" is the gold standard for deciding how those with disabilities are educated — and by whom, and in what setting.

If two-thirds of the senators choose to ratify it, the treaty would become binding, and supersede all existing federal and state laws concerning parental rights, said Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who testified at the hearing.

"The changes to American law that will be required to comply with the provisions of this treaty are profound and utterly unacceptable," he said. "Specifically, the changes regarding the rights of parents who have children with disabilities — which includes thousands of homeschooling families — are absolutely inconsistent with the basic constitutional principles of parental rights.

Read the entire piece here http://www.citizenlink.com/2012/07/12/senate-considers-adopting-u-n-measure-regarding-disabled-people/.

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