CHILD FRIENDLY JUSTICE

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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. 2007)
• Building a Europe for and with Children
• CoE Strategy on Children’s Rights (2009-
  2011)
           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
              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
               Preamble (2)


• Role of parents
• Training
• Practical tool: how to put existing children’s
  rights into child-friendly practices
          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
                Definitions


• Child = everyone under 18
• CFJ = justice in which all children’s rights are
  implemented at the highest possible level,
  considering the child’s level of maturity and
  understanding and the circumstances o the
  case
        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
           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
          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
                  Police


• Specific attention to children’s rights and
  police settings and police detention
• Information, respectful treatment, safety, legal
  counsel
               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
               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...
                    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
      Other child-friendly actions


• Link to other strategies: research,
  cooperation, child-friendly information...
• General info on children’s rights (CRC,
  Art. 42)
• Accessible services: ombudsmen, NGOs,
  helplines (combination!)
• Accessible complaint mechanisms
• Specialised courts and magistrates
• Human rights and children’s rights in curricula
     Monitoring and assessment


• Law and practice review and adjustment
• Involvement of children and young people in
  the assessment
• Involvement of ombudsmen, NGOs etc
           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
         Consultation CYP (2)


• More information needed on children’s 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
          Role of ombudsmen


• Children’s 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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