Children’s Participation in the Justice System

  • Aoife Daly
  • Stephanie RapEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)


The rights of children in youth justice and civil court proceedings, and in particular the right of children to be heard or to “participate” in such systems, is an area in which there has been much interest in recent years, particularly sparked by Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are a wide variety of proceedings in which children’s interests are decided, for example, where they are accused of a crime, where their parents are in dispute on family breakdown and where there are child protection concerns. This chapter examines recent developments in standards at international level concerning children’s participation in proceedings, such as the drafting of General Comment No. 12 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the right to be heard and the Guidelines on Child-friendly Justice of the Council of Europe. It draws on recent international research in order to provide analysis of the extent to which such standards have affected practice and made a difference for children. It concludes that although the development of such standards is to be welcomed, and although these standards have achieved some improvements at domestic level, the more extensive modifications required for genuine participation of children in the justice system has not yet occurred.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law and Social JusticeUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Leiden Law SchoolLeidenThe Netherlands

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