The Convention on the Rights of the Child
By Elizabeth Jollimore Q.C.
Points to Consider
How to use the Convention:
- Refer to the CRC in the contextual approach to statutory construction.
- Refer to the CRC in the contextual approach in judicial review proceedings.
- Use the CRC for interpretive purposes.
The Convention's provisions – Are these relevant to the client's case or issues?
"No one can claim to be making decisions, or doing anything else; in the name of the welfare of the child or in the child's best interests unless the child's fundamental rights are recognized and respected at the same time."
- The right of a child separated from a parent to maintain personal relations with both
parents (Article 9):
- The child must be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and to make his or her views known in proceedings to determine whether it is in the child's best interests to be separated from his or her parents.
- Where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made regarding the parenting arrangements for the child, all interested parties must have an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
- The right of the child to express views freely in all matters affecting the child (Article 12):
- Grant the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child.
- Ensure the views of the child will be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- The child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
- The principle of the parents' common responsibilities for the child's upbringing and development (Article 18):
- Parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child and the best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
 Adapted from Jean-François Noël, "The Convention on the Rights of the Child."
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