LSU Law to Host Celebration of the Louisiana Children’s Code, August 5

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The LSU Law Center will host a celebration of the Louisiana Children’s Code on August 5, 2011, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Louisiana Children’s Code, enacted by the state Legislature in 1990, has guided the legal and social service communities in the areas of Delinquency, Children in Need of Care, Families in Need of Services, and Adoption. The Children’s Code is the comprehensive primary source of law relating to minors in Louisiana.

“The Children’s Code is the most important milestone in family law and the juvenile courts in Louisiana,” said LSU Law Professor Lucy McGough, a member of the Children’s Code committee. “It would never have been accomplished without the steadfast support of the LSU Law Center and former Chancellor Bill Hawkland. The Law Center provided funding, meeting space and most importantly, faith, when naysayers bet that no Children’s Code could ever be enacted. The other two parent-backers of the idea of such a Code were the Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association, and its early President Judge Nancy Konrad, and the Louisiana Department of Social Services and its then-Deputy Director, Brenda Kelley. The Code is the gift to Louisiana courts, lawyers, social services staff, citizen volunteers, and to all families in need of services from its founders and those members of the Children’s Code Committee of the Louisiana Law Institute who have worked to preserve the Code as the best set of laws in the country.” The Louisiana Law Institute is housed on the campus of the LSU Law Center.

Judge Nancy Konrad, Senior Judge with the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, chaired the original Children’s Code Project.

“The gathering will be a celebration of both the passage of the Code and the subsequent 20 years of its application and continual revision,” said Judge Konrad. “The Code began as the Children’s Code Project in 1986. Over the next 4 years some 59 volunteers including among others: lawyers, judges, sheriffs, court clerks, representatives of every Department in the state that dealt with Children, private and public providers, and representatives of all the law schools, met and compiled over 89 separate titles and codes affecting children into one volume – the Children’s Code,” she recalled. The Code is a 1,000-page piece of legislation.

The Children’s Code was passed by the Legislature in 1990 on its first submission, a remarkable feat, according to Judge Konrad. “The magnitude of the effort and collaboration required to construct the Children’s Code simply cannot be quantified. The fact that it was adopted in one legislature session is nothing short of a miracle. But most importantly, after two decades, the Code continues to improve the lives of Louisiana’s youth and serves as an example worthy of emulation throughout the country.”

The event is open to original code committee members, research assistants, sponsors and coauthors of the bill, special individuals who assisted with passage in the Legislature, and current Children’s Code Advisory committee members. Members of the media are invited to attend.

Date: Friday, August 5, 2011

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Location: LSU Law Center Tucker Room; East Campus Drive, Baton Rouge

RSVP Required: Gloria Girouard, 225/578-0200

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