What Responsibility Do Courts Have to Hear Children's Voices?
International Journal of Children’s Rights, Vol. 15, pp. 43-60, 2007
33 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2009
Date Written: September, 15 2009
Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is explicit about children’s rights to express their views and to have an opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them. This article focuses on the responsibility of courts, and in particular, that of the judicial officer, to facilitate children’s participation and improve their experience of the process in two important areas of law where children’s participation can have an impact on the outcome: cases involving children as witnesses in child sexual assault matters, and as informants or participants in private family law matters. While the particular focus is on two common law countries (Australia and New Zealand), similar issues arise and are relevant to other common law jurisdictions. It focuses on data from several Australian studies concerning children's experience in criminal and family law proceedings conducted by the authors.
Keywords: children's participation, child witnesses, judicial responsibility, judicial interviews, parental separation
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation