Shaping Society News

UCC School of Law Host First IDEA Training Event Covering Strategic Litigation and Models of Child Participation

14 Mar 2018
(L-R): Dr Elaine O’Callaghan, Dr Kenneth Burns, Professor Ann Skelton (University of Pretoria), Professor Laura Lundy (Queen’s University Belfast) and Dr Conor O’Mahony (University College Cork)

The IDEA project is led by Dr Conor O’Mahony from the School of Law and Dr Kenneth Burns from the School of Applied Social Studies.

The IDEA project (Improving Decisions through Empowerment and Advocacy) is a two-year, five-country project led by UCC (Dr Conor O’Mahony from the School of Law and Dr Kenneth Burns from the School of Applied Social Studies) and co-founded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme of the European Union (total funding of €420,000). Partner universities include Gothenburg (Sweden), Tampere (Finland), Tartu (Estonia) and Szeged (Hungary).

The project aims to Improve Decisions for children by building capacity of professionals who represent children’s interests in the child protection system to Empower children and Advocate for the advancement of children’s rights by:

  • Establish the training needs of professionals representing children’s interests in the child protection system through a literature review and consultation exercise.
  • Develop networks of professionals to facilitate consultation, delivery of training and ongoing learning through collaboration, mutual support and information exchange.
  • Deliver interdisciplinary training on legal developments, child participation, child development and welfare and staff welfare.
  • Engage in ongoing dissemination activities that will allow the benefits of the training events to continue after the conclusion of the project.

The project will run five training events in Ireland over the course of 2018. The first, on March 9, will include masterclasses on strategic litigation on children’s rights by Professor Ann Skelton of the University of Pretoria and models of child participation by Professor Laura Lundy of Queen’s University Belfast.

On May 18, Professor David Shemmings of Kent University will deliver a one-day workshop on child attachment theory. A subsequent event covering a range of issues, including recent legal developments, access to international remedies, child development, and staff welfare, will be held in each of Cork, Dublin and Galway.

Videos and other resources will be archived on the project website with the aim of achieving a multiplier effect whereby participants can take the training back to their organisations and the project can bring continuing benefits after its conclusion.

For further details, including event registration, see

IDEA Project Logo and blurb

School of Law

Scoil an Dlí

Room 1.63, Aras na Laoi, T12 T656