Topic: The foundational rights of children in the youth justice system in England (and Wales)

Presenter: Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth - University of Newcastle, UK

This paper will set out a framework for examining children's rights in the youth crime context in England and Wales. It will argue that overall, the approach to children's rights in the criminal justice system should be underpinned by the 'no harm' principle, where harm is viewed through a rights-lens. There are two temporal dimensions to be explored: first, the child should be able to enjoy her contemporary (or primary) rights; those that are conferred upon and relevant to her during her involvement in the criminal justice system. Secondly, involvement in the criminal justice system should not impact permanently on the child's ability to enjoy fully her rights in the future. This will occur where, for example, the development of the child's capacity to act autonomously is stymied or access to resources which would otherwise reduce her future vulnerability is denied. These are referred to as the 'secondary' or 'foundational' rights of children because they are those upon which the future exercise of primary rights is dependent. The paper will focus on the obligations of the state vis a vis the child's secondary rights.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Kathryn Hollingsworth is a Professor in Law at the University of Newcastle, UK. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has held posts at the Universities of Cardiff and Otago, and at King's College London. Her current research focuses on the rights of children in the youth justice system in England and Wales.

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