PERSPECTIVE OF THE CHILD IN CUSTODYAND ACCESS DECISIONS: IMPLEMENTINGA BEST INTERESTS AND RIGHTS OF THE CHILD TEST

Authors

  • Suzanne Williams

Keywords:

Children, International conventions, Custody, Access

Abstract

Family justice professionals regularly address a child’s best interests. While relevant legislation provides some guidance in this regard, these laws confer a broad discretion in how their provisions are interpreted and applied. This article suggests that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and research on children’s participation support the adoption of a “best interests and rights of the child test” so that broad legislation is interpreted to uphold, rather than deny a child’s rights. This approach is explored through the right of a child to be heard and have this perspective considered in best interest determinations, as well as relevant research and emerging practices such as non-therapeutic interviews of children in British Columbia.

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Published

2008-04-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary