Children's Consent: Philosophy and Law in Conversation

workshops held in 2019

This workshop brings together academics working in philosophy and law to explore children's consent to medical treatment in addition to a range of closely related issues, including children’s values, wellbeing, responsibility, and decision-making capacity. The event will provide a broader understanding of these matters and of the nature of childhood and of consent more broadly.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of:

OUP John Fell Research Fund
Faculty of Law Research Support Fund, University of Oxford
York Law School, University of York
Society for Applied Philosophy
Exeter College, Oxford


21 March 2019

11:45 Registration and lunch
13:00 Welcome
13:15 What does consent do in moral or legal terms? And how does consent (or its absence) in morality relate to consent (or its absence) in law?
Tom Dougherty (Cambridge)
Victor Tadros (Warwick)
14:15 Break
14:30 Is there, and should there be, any difference between the effect of a consent or refusal of a minor?
Isra Black (York)
Jonathan Herring (Oxford)
15:30 Break
15:45 Should the test for capacity or the effectiveness of a minor’s decision depend on the kind of issue being addressed?
Gottfried Schweiger (Salzburg)
Jo Bridgeman (Sussex)
16:45 Close

22 March 2019

09:00 Coffee
09:30 What is the basis for holding children responsible? To what extent should children’s responsibility vary across different domains, eg criminal justice and medicine?
David Brink (UCSD)
Tracey Elliott (Leicester)
10:30 Break
10:45 Is there anything special or distinctive about consents/refusals by minors motivated by moral reasons?
Peter Schaber (Zurich)
Emma Cave (Durham)
11:45 Lunch
12:45 What is the best understanding of wellbeing for children and how do those conceptions relate to issues of consent?
Anthony Skelton (Western)
Lisa Forsberg (Oxford)
13:45 Break
14:00 Should the tests for capacity be the same for adults and children? Is mental capacity simply a matter of instrumental rationality or are other factors, eg “life experience”, also relevant?
Andrew Franklin-Hall (Toronto)
Mary Donnelly (Cork)
15:00 Break
15:15 How should children’s capacity regimes and parental and judicial powers interact?
Dave Archard (QUB)
Jonathan Montgomery (UCL)
16:15 Closing remarks
16:30 Close