The Child’s Perspective in Court: Can we do better?

Date: 13 February 2020
Time: 08:30-10:00
Venue: Christie Café, Muséplassen 3

Breakfast meeting on children’s rights with keynote by human rights lawyer Nuala Mole from the AIRE Centre.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recently celebrated its 30thanniversary, and although much has been achieved in the last three decades, there is still work to do. Procedures affecting children are not as child-centric as they should be, the child’s right to be heard is not taken seriously enough, and the child’s perspective appears to be missing in much of the decision-making concerning children.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) frequently deals with cases directly impacting on the lives and rights of children, without the children playing a direct and active role in the proceedings. Children, it seems, are incidental to a dispute between parents and the state concerning parental rights. Similarly, discussions in the media are often framed in terms of parents vs. the state, with the subject of the disagreement – the child – given little or no voice.

Children are not independently represented in these cases and thus the child’s perspective is too often left out. Especially very young children who cannot yet make full use of their right to be heard in matters concerning them, are absent in decisions that will have significant consequences for their lives.

How can we succeed in including the child and her perspective more fully – both in the ECtHR and in national courts? How do we ensure that the child’s particular needs, preferences and personality are emphasised and given due weight in the decision-making process

About the Event

We are pleased to announce Nuala Mole from The AIRE Centre in London as our keynote speaker for this event. Nuala is one of Europe’s most prominent human rights lawyers, and a leading actor within the field of human rights. Nuala will talk about her experience as part of the legal team in human and child rights cases before the ECtHR, and will provide her professional insight into how children feature in these cases. The AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) has recently acted as intervening party in the case of Strand Lobben v Norway in the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR.

The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion and questions from the audience. We are looking forward to an interesting event and a lively discussion!

  • Keynote: Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer / Founder, The AIRE Centre: “Children at the European Court of Human Rights”
  • Panel participants: Marit Skivenes (Professor, Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism), Lise Søreide (District Court Judge, Bergen tingrett)
  • Moderator: Jenny Krutzinna (Senior Researcher, Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism)