Enhancing the Participation of Children and Young People in Family Proceedings: Starting the Debate

10 JUN 2008

The Family Justice Council Voice of the Child Sub-Group

The degree to which it is desirable to involve children (all references to child or children are intended to include young person or young people) in family proceedings (family proceedings includes both public and private law cases) is a difficult and contentious issue facing those involved in the family justice system. Childrens rights, interests, needs and wishes are all involved and may sometimes prove to be in conflict with each other. The climate of opinion on these matters is beginning to change. The approach of courts and professionals has become more children centred. It is becoming more widely accepted that children should be more directly involved and are entitled to contribute their views in relation to decisions which affect their lives. The President of the Family Division has indicated that he views an enhanced level of participation by children as desirable.

This article puts forward and examines the various options to increase the participation of Children and Young People in Family Proceedings.

For the full article, see May [2008] Family Law journal.

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