Dr. Patrick Ryan

CYS 2212F/G Childhood & the Law

Winter 2023 - Monday and Wednesdays 1-2:30 PM

LH 105C - Wednesday Lecture

Monday Mooting Sessions:
FB003 = Group A
DL 114 = Group B
LH 105C = Group C

CYS Program Advisor: Taylor Bigham
Tel: 519.433.3491 / 1.800-265.4406, ext. 4503

Dr. Patrick Ryan
E-mail:  pryan2@uwo.ca
Ph:   519-518-0370

Office: DL 127
Hours: M-W, 12:00-12:45p
or by Appointment
*Find Office Hours Zoom Link
in Announcements on OWL

Teaching Assistants:
Mackenzie Robinford
Megan Merchant


An introduction to the study of childhood and law in Canada. By examining specific cases, statutes, treaties, and practices, students will have an opportunity to increase their understanding of the most relevant doctrines, principles, and debates about childhood in Canadian legal and political culture.

In the Winter 2023 version of this course, students will learn about the doctrine of children's right to protection by the state (parens patriae) and the best interest of the child test, custody and access law, corporal punishment and parental rights, privacy, identity rights, and adoption, migration and citizenship, the duty to report, contracts and the doctrine of necessity and benefit, the right to expression in schools, informed consent in medical decisions, moral blameworthiness in criminal law, children's testimony and party status.

Antirequisite(s): The former CSI 2250F/G, the former CSI 2256F/G, and the former CSI 2253F/G. 

READINGS: all readings are provided free of charge through the course schedule.

11 appellate court opinions between 25-50 pages

Approximately 16-20 additional documents, scholarly articles, and news reports to contextualize the case reports. 


Moot Court Preparation

10% (weekly)

Moot Court Participation
20% (weekly)

Case Analysis Paper
(5 pages)

35% (Feb. 17)

Final Exam

35% (April 20)


Wednesdays will be devoted to lecture which will begin preparation for the mooting sessions on Mondays. A moot allows students to practice with legal language, concepts, doctrines, dillemas through role play. Often a moot is a fabricated case on appeal. Our moots will role-play with the leading cases impacting childhood and youth in Canada. Attending lecture, reading the documents, submitting your brief to OWL by Sunday night for the moot will prepare you to play your role on Mondays.

Mooting preparation is worth 10% of your mark, and the quality of your performance in the moot will constitute another 25%. This weekly mooting practice will pave the way for success on the paper and it starts your studying for the final exam from the outset of the course. The final exam will be a written test on the cases and concepts in Canadian childhood and youth law that we have studied.

Minimum Attendance Requirement: 

In-person moot court participation is an essential learning experiene for this course and it is also required to earn a good mark. Students must participate a minimum of 5 of 9 mooting sessions; failure to do so will result in a 10% penalty in the course in addition to the appropriate loss in points under the 20% moot court participation element of the course.

We expect that students will schedule all appointments and other responsibilities to avoid conflicts with the course, but please talk to us if you have a scheduling conflict or ordinary one-time event (illness, etc) which interferes with attendance or meeting due dates.  In general, our approach will be to relieve students of any penalties without documentation if they communicate their needs in a timely fashion. If serious health issues or life events demand a prolonged absence, we may refer you to the Dean's Office - but this is rare.

The Case Analysis Paper: It will constitute 35% of your mark. I hope to avoid assigning penalties for late papers. They may be avoided if extensions are requested in advance. Otherwise, a two-mark deduction will be taken for each of the first three days late, and a 5-mark deduction for each day thereafter. Two-weeks after the due date or at the conclusion of the term (which ever is first) a zero will be assigned for the paper. 


Please click above and read, because these apply to this course.