Children's Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward

About the Symposium

 

Finding the Best Ways Forward is a two-day national symposium gathering together leading stakeholders to share information and dialogue about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected and how their evidence is received in justice processes. The symposium will generate innovative proposals for policy reform, best practices, and recommendations for future research about children’s participation in justice processes.

Participants

The symposium is open to anyone with an interest in the participation of children and youth in justice processes. We encourage the attendance and participation of: judges, lawyers and articled students; academics, researchers, graduate students and post-doctoral students; social workers, clinical psychologists, counsellors and other mental health professionals; and, government decision-makers, policy-makers and administrators.

Subject Matter

Subject areas to be discussed at the symposium will include:

  • the role of children’s counsel;
  • the child in family law proceedings, child protection proceedings and youth criminal justice proceedings;
  • the practical and legal effect of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child within Canada; and,
  • best practices for children’s legal clinics, representing children, judicial child interviews, and child interviews by lawyers and mental health professionals.

Subject areas may also include:

  • determining children’s competence and capacity to instruct counsel;
  • the child in parenting coordination processes;
  • roles for the child in mediation and collaborative law processes;
  • evaluative and non-evaluative views of the child reports;
  • confidentiality of professionals’ communications with children;
  • child interviewers on the stand;
  • promoting legislative and regulatory change;
  • adapting court processes to accommodate children’s participation;
  • children’s testimony, affidavits and letters in court processes;
  • children and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • children and Canadian human rights legislation;
  • training child interviewers;
  • establishing child interviewer rosters;
  • establishing and operating children’s legal clinics; and,
  • the role of early assessments and parenting assessments in family law and child protection proceedings.

Read about registering for the symposium and participation fees on the registration page. Read the call for papers if you're interested in presenting at the symposium.

Pre-Symposium Conference

A special half-day conference on the fundamentals of Canadian family law for mental health professionals, and anyone who is not a justice system professional, will precede the symposium. The conference will help set the scene and provide valuable additional context for the work of the symposium.

The conference will be provided by John-Paul Boyd, a lawyer, academic and the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, and will review the law on the parenting and care of children after separation, contemporary dispute resolution processes, and the traditional and emerging ways that the views and voices of children and youth are presented in those processes. The conference will discuss:

  • the law on guardianship, custody and access
  • the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • expert evidence in family law disputes
  • views of the child reports and parenting assessments
  • judicial child interviews
  • the roles of children's counsel
  • hearing the views and voices of children in out-of-court settlement processes

Read about registering for the conference and participation fees on the registration page.

Organizers and Funders

The symposium is organized by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta, and is generously funded by a grant from the Alberta Law Foundation. Read more about the Institute and the Office of the Advocate.

Follow the Institute on Twitter at @JP_Boyd_CRILF and the the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate at @AlbertaCYA. Tweets about the symposium will use the hashtag #FTBWF.

 

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM · KEYNOTE SPEAKERS · CALL FOR PAPERS · REGISTRATION · AGENDUM
ACCOMMODATIONS · LOCAL ATTRACTIONS · ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS · CONTACT US

 

Alberta Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

 

Alberta Law Foundation

 

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