The proposed change to the Constitution

On Saturday, November 10th 2012, you are asked to vote yes or no to a proposal to include in the Constitution a new Article 42A and at the same time remove the current Article 42.5.

If a majority of voters votes yes in this referendum, the existing Article 42.5 will be removed and a new Article 42A will become part of the Constitution. All other articles of the Constitution will remain in place.

If a majority votes no, there will be no change to the Constitution.

While the proposed new Article has a number of parts to it, you may only vote yes or no to the total proposal. You may not vote to adopt only part of the proposed Article 42A nor may you vote to adopt it and retain Article 42.5 in its present form.

The proposed new Article reads as follows:

Children: Article 42A

1.

The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

2.

  In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty

towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
 Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for

such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

3.

 Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of
any child.

4.

 Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings—

i. brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the
safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or

ii. concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,

the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
 Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings

referred to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child.