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Children and Access to Justice: National Practices, International Challenges

Dr Julinda Beqiraj , Dr Lawrence McNamara

The IBA's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee has commissioned the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to undertake research on main barriers to access to justice for children and good practices across jurisdictions in this area.

The co-chair of the IBA Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff CBE, said:

"This report, is designed to improve access to justice for children across the world, by identifying the barriers they face in different jurisdictions, but also by highlighting the creative and determined efforts of lawyers and others to overcome these barriers, so that those looking for inspiration can find it. "

The Executive Secretary of the CEPEJ, St├ęphane Leyenberger, said:

"The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) has been pleased to contribute to this essential work on access to justice for children, by providing quantitative and qualitative data from the member states of the Council of Europe. Being able to get a relevant diagnostic, through a scientific data collection, processing and analysis, is a valuable step towards efficient solutions for improving the quality of the public service of justice delivered to fragile populations, and in particular children."    

Download the Executive Summary 

Research has been carried out on the basis of the following two sub-themes:

Children and Access to Justice in the Agenda for Sustainable Development

A briefing paper analyses how the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda will be of importance for improving access to justice and the economic and social well-being of children and discusses some of the challenges ahead. The work examines the specific goal on access to justice (Goal 16) and the associated targets and indicators and discusses the appropriateness, effectiveness and adequacy of the global indicators that will be employed to measure progress in the delivery of the agenda as regards children's needs in the context of sustainable development.

Read/download the paper 

Access to Justice for Children: An International Study

The International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee, with support from the Law Society of England & Wales and the German Federal Bar (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer), has commissioned the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to conduct a survey-based international study on access to justice for children.

Running over seven months in 2016, the project examines the main challenges in this area; assesses the strategies and solutions employed across jurisdictions to address these challenges; and explores the transfer of good practices to inform access to justice across jurisdictions. Project outputs include a report based on a targeted survey of experts and stakeholder consultation, and over a dozen accompanying case studies.

In a short time the report has attracted some degree of attention at the domestic and international levels, featuring in Australian government and public policy publications, and being referenced on several occasions by other international organisations and commentators.


The expert survey is available here.

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