Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2013-14
Exploring Solutions to a Persistent Legal Problem:
Conceptualising the Rights of Children in Detention
Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth
University of Newcastle
Thursday 23rd January 2014
from 6 - 7pm
Children in detention are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, and their removal from the community and into the secure estate compounds the disadvantages that many of them have previously experienced. Rights can therefore take on even greater significance for this group. Over the past 15 years, children and their advocates have sought to use the law in an attempt to protect those rights and to bring about improvements in how children deprived of their liberty are treated. But there are limits to what has been achieved and the proposed changes to legal aid, judicial review and the possible repeal of the Human Rights Act are likely to present even greater hurdles for the realisation of the rights of detained children. This lecture will examine the developing law in this area and explore the extent to which the concepts of vulnerability and best interests have shaped the legal and human rights of children in custody. It will then go on to consider whether other concepts – including home, care and responsibility – could be better used in order to understand and secure the rights of children deprived of their liberty.
Biography of the speaker
Kathryn Hollingsworth’s current research interests lie in the areas of children’s rights, youth justice and public law. She is particularly interested in the application of theories of responsibility and children’s rights to the area of youth justice, and the intersection of public law, children’s rights, criminal law theory, and youth justice. She has published a number of articles in this area and is currently working on a book, to be published by Hart, entitled Children, Rights and Criminal Justice. Kathryn is on the management board of the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal and in that role is the theme champion for social justice and injustice.
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