Children in court: from communication to effective participation

Criminal justice proceedings / Youth justice

Children in court: from communication to effective participation

The child’s right to be heard and the procedural position of children in family and child protection proceedings (full text only available in Dutch)

Summary

In Dutch civil law, other than in exceptional cases, children are not competent to participate autonomously as litigants. The principle is that the child’s interests are safeguarded by his or her legal representatives: the parent(s) with parental responsibilities or the legal guardian(s). When the child’s interests are in conflict with the interests of their legal representatives, the judge can appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. Even though children lack competence to participate autonomously in civil law proceedings, they do have to be involved in family and child protection proceedings (according to Book 1 Dutch Civil Code). For children above the age of twelve years, this is embodied in the right to be heard.
The central question in this research is if it is desirable and possible to improve the procedural position of children in Dutch civil law and, if so, in what way. To answer this research question, both pedagogical and legal advantages and disadvantages are examined. Thus, this research tackles two aspects: (I) children’s right to be heard in family- and child protection proceedings and (II) the procedural position of children in family- and child protection proceedings.

Publication data

Author(s):
Bruning, M.R., Smeets, D.J.H., Bolscher, K.G.A., Peper, J.S., Boer, R. de, Alink, L.R.A. (ass.), Crone, E.A.M. (ass.), Doek, J.E. (ass.), Mesman, J. (ass.), Zon, K.A.M. van der (ass.)
Organization(s):
University Leiden - Faculty of Law, University Leiden - Faculty of Social Sciences, WODC
Place of publication:
Nijmegen
Publisher:
Wolf Legal Publishers
Year of publication:
2020
ISBN:
978--94-6240-554-7

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