Academic institutions - Childrens Rights Reform

Academic institutions

Role of academic institutions in children’s rights legislative reform

According to the CRC Committee, States Parties need to work closely with independent academic institutions (CRC GC 5, para. 58; see also CRC GC 24, para. 114).

The academic community can undertake expert and independent reviews of legislation as part of the preparation for or during the legislative reform process.

  • Academic institutions should be consulted as part of the consultation process. See section HOW.
  • E.g.: In 2016, the Scottish Law Commission and Scotland’s university law schools entered an agreement to promote law reform in Scotland (Commonwealth Secretariat 2017).

Academia can also ensure better implementation of children’s rights legislation by contributing to public debate, policies and legislation through the provision of research-based knowledge and evidence on children’s rights and human rights. They can assist government or other stakeholders in the monitoring and evaluation legislation, including by undertaking research or collecting data

Academia can also contribute to judicial decisions that will impact legislation by providing expert opinions, including by intervening through amicus curiae briefs.

E.g.: In South Africa, the Centre for Child Law, based at the Law Faculty of the University of Pretoria, undertakes ‘impact litigation’ in the High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. It aims to push forward boundaries of the law relating to children; establish the content of law relating to legal rights and protection of children; set precedents, thereby changing the attitudes of the courts; hold government accountable on their responsibilities towards children; and build experience and knowledge in litigation on children’s behalf.

Academia can also contribute to the implementation of legislative reform by raising awareness on children’s rights, including by educating students and offering post-academic training for professionals

For more information see: Danish Institute for Human Rights 2018 Advanced Master International Children’s Rights Leiden University Frontiers of Children’s Rights Summer School, Leiden University Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory Child Law Clinic – University College Cork