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Representing children's views and best interests in court : an international comparison.

Bilson, Andy and White, Susan (2005) Representing children's views and best interests in court : an international comparison. Child Abuse Review, 14 (4). pp. 220-239. ISSN 0952-9136

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Abstract

This paper provides a comparison of a number of alternative models of international practice in relation to the appointment and organization of guardians ad litem and other children's representatives in child care and family proceedings. The paper notes that, in their attempts to address the need for children to have representation in matters affecting their welfare, English-speaking countries have tended to conflate the two salient Articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that is, Article 3, which deals with the child's best interests, and Article 12, which deals with their right to express their wishes and feelings. Where systems other than stand alone legal representation have been put in place, the child's representative is charged with both assessing their best interests and, often as a secondary duty, communicating their views. The paper concludes that for some groups of children in public or private law proceedings, an advocate (rather than a best interest oriented guardian, and where necessary in addition to a legal representative) may enable better representation of the child in the courts and greater participation by children in legal proceedings, an increased role for children as citizens and a fuller implementation of their rights.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Child Abuse Review
Uncontrolled Keywords: guardian ad litem • children's representation • children's voice • children's rights • courts
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Applied Social Science
ID Code: 22990
Deposited By: Professor Sue White
Deposited On: 16 Jan 2009 11:34
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:08
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22990

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