Thursday 14th July, 2022
This webinar continued our exploration of child rights as a strategic litigation tool. The “Climate Change, the Rights of Children, and the Duty of Care” webinar (July 2021) focused on litigation by Anjali Sharma and seven other children who brought a case against Australia’s then Minister for the Environment. They claimed that approval of a new coal mine would violate the government’s duty of care to young people. Successful at first, they lost an appeal and the mine was subsequently approved.
Increasingly, we are seeing children, young people and their advocates bringing such cases before courts and supra-national quasi-judicial bodies. Professor Aoife Nolan (University of Nottingham) explored the implications of the CRC for those carrying out child rights strategic litigation: how can these rights serve as a lens to be turned inwards by those carrying out such litigation to consider the extent to which their practice (rather than simply the aims or impact of such) are consistent with child rights standards?’ Make it 16 is a youth-led campaign in NZ litigating to lower the age when young people can vote to 16 and 17. Campaign representatives, Thomas Pope-Kerr, Cate Tipler, Caitlin Taylor, and Ella Flavell shared their experience of using rights-based litigation.
Aoife Nolan is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Co-Director of the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre. Aoife is Vice-President of the Council of Europe's European Committee of Social Rights. She has published extensively in the area of human rights, particularly in relation to economic and social and children's rights, as well as on constitutional law. Aoife currently leads a major three-year research project focused on the theory and practice of child rights litigation.
Thomas, Cate, Caitlin and Ella are Make It 16 campaigners. Make It 16 is a non-partisan youth-led movement to make the voting age 16 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Among other things, they are taking a case to the New Zealand Supreme Court seeking a declaration that a voting age of 18 is inconsistent with the right of 16 and 17 year-olds not to be unjustifiably discriminated against based on age under the New Zealand Bill of Rights.
Dr Noam Peleg, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW, Book Review Editor, The International Journal of Children's Rights.