Children's Participation in Youth Justice and Civil Court Proceedings
Daly A. and Rap, S., ‘Children’s Participation in Youth Justice and Civil Court Proceedings. In: Ursula Kilkelly and Ton Liefaard, International Human Rights of Children (Springer, 2018), Forthcoming
20 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2017 Last revised: 15 May 2018
Date Written: 2018
The rights of children in youth justice and civil court proceedings, and in particular the right of children to be heard or to ‘participate’ in such systems, is an area in which there has been much interest in recent years, particularly sparked by Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are a wide variety of proceedings in which children’s interests are decided, for example where they are accused of a crime, where their parents are in dispute on family breakdown and where there are child protection concerns. This chapter examines recent developments in standards at international level concerning children’s participation in proceedings, such as the drafting of General Comment No. 12 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the right to be heard and the child-friendly justice guidelines of the Council of Europe. It draws on recent international research in order to provide analysis of the extent to which such standards have affected practice and made a difference for children. It concludes that, although the development of such standards is to be welcomed, and although these standards have achieved some improvements at domestic level, the more extensive modifications required for genuine participation of children in the justice system has not occurred.
Keywords: children in court; access to justice; child-friendly justice; children's autonomy principle; child participation
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