I have been having many thoughts about the effectiveness of laws because of my own experiences of divorce as well as stories that I’ve heard of from others in both mainstream relationship styles and those suffering merely due to having non-mainstream relationship styles.
If a child is in poverty, lacks health care, clothes, or food, that child should get assistance regardless of the status of the child’s parents.
The current laws that I am aware of in multiple countries that are ostentatiously for the benefit of children are centered around the parents – and more heavily weighted towards co-habiting, heterosexual, married couples. They are not directed at the children themselves.
A clear example of this is the Divilbiss case, which ended sadly with a child removed from legally married and biological parents merely because the parents are polyamorous.
More general examples include childcare allowances paid to legal guardians instead of the children or tax rebates for married couples instead of tax rebates for children cared for.
I find it fairly typical that legislation misses the goal of what that law was trying to achieve. Essentially, when making a new law, there is something missing – something that I would call a statement of intent. A good example is speed limits on roads. It is often thought that reducing the speed limit of a road will lower the accident rate. So in this case, the statement of intent for applying a lowered speed limit would be something like, “reduce the accident rate to 1 for every 10,000km driven.” That way, a law does not get lost in assumptions and it is not forgotten why it was introduced in the first place. In this case, if metrics show that the new speed limit did not lower the accident rate, then the law can be more easily repealed or amended.
I think it would also make sense to include measurement of the chosen metrics (representing the effectiveness of the law at fulfilling the policy) and the time frame and frequency of measurement was included in the implementation or enactment of the law. It would even more sense to build in a check in to the legal framework so that laws that become redundant over time are automatically flagged for reconsideration – a kind of redundancy check to prevent laws from remaining in force when technology or social change makes them redundant or non-sensical.
Many laws have to balance several different issues, such as idealism with practicality, especially in regard to enforcement costs. I see no reason why multiple metrics can be used to measure the effectiveness of laws. Doing this would require professional testers to be involved with writing a law to make sure that the metrics make sense and actually measure what is intended rather than missing the point again. Making it mandatory to measure laws in this way though would ensure that thought is given to the intent as well as the practicality of a law – not that a law is enacted in blind faith that it will actually have the intended outcome.
I would hope that such a system would effectively perform automatic house-keeping on laws, cleaning up the legal books and preventing laws from conflicting with each other.