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CHILD-FRIENDLY JUSTICE GUIDELINES. Getting there (1) Gaps between law and practice CRC and ECHR Resolution No. 2 on Child-Friendly Justice (25-26 Oct.

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Presentation on theme: "CHILD-FRIENDLY JUSTICE GUIDELINES. Getting there (1) Gaps between law and practice CRC and ECHR Resolution No. 2 on Child-Friendly Justice (25-26 Oct."— Presentation transcript:


2 Getting there (1) Gaps between law and practice CRC and ECHR Resolution No. 2 on Child-Friendly Justice (25-26 Oct. 2007) Building a Europe for and with Children CoE Strategy on Childrens Rights (2009- 2011)

3 Getting there (2) Integrated approach between major intergovernmental committees (CDCJ, CDPC, CDDH) 4 expert reports Stockholm (Sept. 2008) and Toledo (March 2009) Conferences Group of specialists (magistrates, practising lawyers, academics, psychologists, social workers, government officials) Consultation of children and young people

4 Preamble (1) Reference to several binding legal instruments (no repetition of existing norms) Reference to ECHR case law Reference to several recommendations and initiatives Need to enforce the status of children and young people in proceedings that affect or involve them

5 Preamble (2) Role of parents Training Practical tool: how to put existing childrens rights into child-friendly practices

6 Scope and purpose The place, role, rights and needs of children In whatever capacity (party, victim, alleged perpetrator...) In whatever kind of proceeding, in and outside court Civil, criminal and administrative law

7 Definitions Child = everyone under 18 CFJ = justice in which all childrens rights are implemented at the highest possible level, considering the childs level of maturity and understanding and the circumstances o the case

8 Fundamental principles Participation: access, express views, due weight Best interests: respecting all rights, not just legal Dignity: respect, integrity, no degrading treatment Protection from discrimination: specific vulnerabilities Rule of law: due process, access to justice

9 General elements (before, during and after proceedings) Information and (legal) advice: CRC, Art. 42 Protection of privacy: media, data... Safety Training Multidisciplinary approach Deprivation of liberty: last resort, no restriction of other rights

10 Before proceedings MACR reference: not too low, determined by law Alternative proceedings vs. court proceedings: open choice, information. No preference Quality requirements of alternative settings: legal safeguards

11 Police Specific attention to childrens rights and police settings and police detention Information, respectful treatment, safety, legal counsel

12 During (1) Access to remedies and the judicial process Legal counsel and representation: independent lawyer, training, guardian ad litem Right to be heard and express views: level of understanding, due weight, not a duty, age issue

13 During (2) Avoiding undue delay: immediacy, rule of law, respect for family relations Child-friendly environment and language: no intimidation, support, separate rooms, adapted settings, youth courts... Evidence and statements by children: trained interviewers, adapted regulations...

14 After Explanation of the taken decision Avoid execution by force Facilitate speedy execution of decisions Post proceeding guidance and support Constructive and individualised sanctions aimed at reintegration

15 Other child-friendly actions Link to other strategies: research, cooperation, child-friendly information... General info on childrens rights (CRC, Art. 42) Accessible services: ombudsmen, NGOs, helplines (combination!) Accessible complaint mechanisms Specialised courts and magistrates Human rights and childrens rights in curricula

16 Monitoring and assessment Law and practice review and adjustment Involvement of children and young people in the assessment Involvement of ombudsmen, NGOs etc

17 Consultation CYP (1) Questionnaire: a first attempt Support of NGOs and ENOC Prof. Ursula Kilkelly 3721 responses were processed from 25 MS Experienced contact with police/justice Similarity in responses with existing other research

18 Consultation CYP (2) More information needed on childrens rights from people close to them Important role of parents 40% did not feel listened to A third did not feel treated fairly Uncertainty about how to challenge decisions taken Child-friendly explanation = very important, age appropriate Wish to speak directly to decision-maker

19 Role of ombudsmen Childrens rights education and information Promote and disseminate the guidelines in child-friendly versions Involvement in training Complaints and support children in challenging decisions, test cases Monitoring the implementation (a.o.through complaints)

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