Open access book on children’s right to information in the EU

Ce post présente un récent ouvrage (accessible en ligne) sur le droit d’être entendu des enfants impliqués dans des procédures civiles. Les différentes pratiques des États membres relatives au respect de ce droit en application des instruments européens de coopération judiciaire en matière civile y sont étudiées. Le projet de recherche débouche sur la création de principes, développés sur la base des meilleures pratiques observées au sein de l’UE. Bonne lecture !

This post has been written by Francesca Maoli, research fellow in EU law at the Università degli Studi di Genova

The book “Children’s right to information in EU civil actions” collects the results of the EU co-funded Project Minor’s Right to Information in EU civil actions – Improving children’s right to information in cross-border civil cases (MiRI, JUST-JCOO-AG-2018-831608). By examining different national practices regarding the fundamental right of the child to receive information during the course of civil proceedings affecting him or her, the research team aimed at identifying national current practices, so as to evaluate common best practices and create guidelines that might or should be applied in all EU Member States, also with the objective of harmonizing and integrating their national systems, both form a procedural and substantive perspective.

The research reports and materials are freely available on the webpage of the Project, from which it is possible to access the database on legislation, case law, best practices, and case studies. The Guidelines on the right of the child to information in cross-border civil proceedings are available in a commented version in English, as well as in a multilingual version

The first part of the Volume is devoted to a reconstruction of the existing human rights instruments on child participation. The first Chapter examines the state-of-the-art and future perspectives on the right of the child to information, without leaving aside the role of the European Union and the instruments adopted in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters. From the international law perspective, it is still controversial whether such a right to information enjoys an autonomous nature and is not only a corollary of the right of the child to be heard within the proceedings. Research and soft law instruments are promoting the strengthening of an autonomous right to information, although an explicit recognition in international conventions is rare to be found. From the point of view of EU law, the contribution highlights that there are many opportunities to improve recognition and implementation of children’s right to information in civil proceedings and within the EU instruments on family law. A human-rights-oriented interpretation of EU instruments may make this right more structured in practice, together with many initiatives that are being taken at the EU and international levels.

The subsequent national Chapters address the issue of children’s right to information in civil proceedings from the point of view of national legal systems, analyzing the main criticalities emerging from the current practice in seven EU Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, and Spain). The research carried out have enabled to identify the current state-of-the art, the gaps and deficiencies of the involved Member States as concerns the right of the child to information in the context of civil proceedings in family matters.

The last chapter contains the final output of the project: the Guidelines on the right of the child to information in cross-border civil proceedings, which aimed at improving the situation of children involved in those proceedings, in order to enhance and protect their fundamental rights as enshrined in international instruments on children’s rights and as part of the EU acquis on the rights of the child. 

The book is in open access format and can be downloaded here

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