Seminar on the rights of vulnerable children during the ILS Conference
During the conference Interaction Between Legal Systems organised at the Leiden Law School, Mark Klaassen and Yannick van den Brink organised a seminar on the rights of children from particularly vulnerable groups.
The first speaker, Stephanie Rap (Utrecht University), held a presentation on the outcomes of her PhD research on the participation of juveniles in juvenile criminal law. For her research, Stephanie investigated to what extent the conditions for the effective participation of juveniles are fulfilled in eleven European countries. Striking was the successful method in Scotland, where the parents and other persons close to the child play an important role in the children’s hearings.
Another perspective on the central theme was offered by Maria de Jong-de Kruijf (Universiteit Leiden), who presented the findings of her PhD research on the lawfulness of the placement of juveniles in closed youth care. Maria explained the dilemmas that are involved in the decision whether a child should be placed in closed youth care. She used the theme of jihad travellers to Syria as an example often in the news at the moment, where the question whether children should be placed in closed youth care may be relevant.
The role of pre-trial detention in juvenile criminal law was discussed by Yannick van den Brink (Leiden University). In his presentation, Yannick elaborated on his ongoing PhD research in the course of which he visits a large number of hearings in juvenile criminal law. In the Dutch legal practice, pre-trial detention is often used, also in cases involving a juvenile. Yannick’s research focuses on the question how it can be guaranteed that pre-trial detention in Dutch juvenile criminal law is used in a lawful and non-arbitrary manner.
Finally Mark Klaassen (Leiden University) reported on the role of the rights of the child in an application for family unification of a parent to a Dutch national child based on a recent case of a Dutch district court. He explained that the relevant Dutch regulation does not provide for the possibility of family unification of a parent to a child. Mark concluded that the Dutch courts should ask questions for preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the EU on the interpretation of EU law on this issue.
After the presentations there was time for questions and discussion. The seminar showed that the rights of the child from vulnerable groups is an issue that is relevant in many different fields of law. The seminar was therefore well-suited for the conference on the interaction between legal systems.