A copy of the book Child Law was presented to President Mary McAleese by its author, Galway city native Geoffrey Shannon, illustrating the esteem in which the much-praised work is held.
Mr Shannon is a regular commentator on the law relating to children on the national media. He is also Chairman of The Adoption Authority and a Special Rapporteur to The Government on child protection.
The foreword to the book is written by The Chief Justice of Ireland The Hon Mr Justice John L. Murray who said "Child Law is an exceptional work ... it stands out as an impressive and much needed reference on the law as it relates to one of the nation's most valued resources."
Child Law contains 16 chapters and 18 appendices, ranging from the legal status of the child in Irish society to an analysis of relevant international and European Community law. The book also deals extensively with the position of children in need and children in care.
The involvement of children in the court process, both civil and criminal, is also addressed in detail. Separate chapters are devoted to the topics of adoption, child abduction and immigration, and the author also carefully reviews the position of children in private custody, access and maintenance disputes.
The final chapter looks at the future of the family and the child under Irish law. This includes a most interesting discussion on the advent of assisted reproductive technologies and the myriad legal and ethical difficulties which they create. This title is the leading work on child law in Ireland and was nominated for The Inaugural Irish Book Prize earlier this year.
The book is published by Round Hall www.roundhall.ie