Separated Children in Judicial Proceedings: Recourse to European and International Mechanisms

  • 22 Mar 2017

Blackhall Place, Dublin 30-31 March, 2017

As part of the Separated Children in Judicial Proceedings Project, the Child Law Clinic at UCC School of Law is delighted to host the fourth event in a series of conferences across Europe focused on child centred justice in all judicial proceedings involving separated children.

There is still some limited availability on what promises to be a very interesting and important conference.

If you wish to attend, please contact Deirdre at, at 021-4903642 or 087-6635324

Please note that the event team is aiming for a balanced and wide range of stakeholders, representing the different groups of separated children.  As venue capacity is strictly limited, the team will only be able to accept requests for participation at the conference using these criteria and taking account of the number of places available.


The outline programme for the conference, subject to changes and additions, is available here

Thursday, March 30th  9.00 a.m.


Friday, March 31st 9.00a.m.

Registration & Welcome


Registration & Welcome

Session 1: Strategic Litigation & International and European Mechanisms Available


Catherine Cosgrave, Immigrant Council of Ireland

'Using the Law to Advance Rights: Reflections on Strategic Litigation, Current Challenges and Opportunities'

Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer, AIRE Centre, London

'A comparative introduction to taking cases on behalf of children to the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee on Social Rights, the Courts of Justice of the European Union and the UNCRC'


Session 1: Contemporary Issues Affecting Separated Children (including Parental Imprisonment; Radicalisation of Children)


Drs Aisling Parkes & Fiona Donson, School of Law, UCC - Children of Incarcerated Parents

Ruth Kirby, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, London - Children at Risk of Radicalisation

Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children - Complaints and Investigation Function of the OCO

Syd Bolton, Solicitor, UK (non-practising); Methoria International Consulting - Asylum Seeking Children

Morning Coffee Break


Morning Coffee Break


Session 2: European Court of Human Rights – An Irish Perspective


Dr Conor O’Mahony, School of Law, UCC

'Vindicating Children's Rights in Strasbourg: Litigating and Enforcing O'Keeffe v Ireland'

Dr Aoife McMahon, Barrister at Law

'Protection of the best interests of the child in the immigration sphere: added value of Article 8 ECHR?'



Session 2: ECtHR and ECSR – Practical Guidance on Exploring European Avenues of Recourse


Anna Austin, Registry of the European Court of Human Rights - Taking Cases on Behalf of Children to the European Court of Human Rights


Professor Colm O’Cinneide, European Committee of Social Rights - Taking Cases on Behalf of Children to the European Committee of Social Rights

Lunch at Blackhall Place


Lunch at Blackhall Place


Session 3: UNCRC - Exploring the Potential of OP3CRC and Article 12


Saoirse Brady, Legal & Policy Director, Children's Rights Alliance

Gary Kiernan, General Manager, Chief Operator's Office, Tusla

Workshop: Case Study in Working Groups on Which Mechanism to Use

Introduction to selecting which mechanism best meets the needs of the case at hand




Session 3: Workshop & Discussion Groups

Practical application of the knowledge and experiences shared during the conference, directed at enhancing existing practices in order to vindicate the rights of separated children to best effect using all available domestic, European and International mechanisms


Afternoon Coffee Break


Afternoon Coffee Break

Session 4: Courts of Justice of European Union


Dervla Browne, Senior Counsel

'Court of Justice and Movement of Children'

Grainne Lee, Barrister at Law

'Recent Developments in the context of article 15 transfers under Brussels II bis: the decision of the CJEU in CFA v JD'


The Impact of Brexit on Children's Rights

 Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer & Founder, AIRE Centre, London


Session 4: Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Brexit 


Catriona Jarvis, Judge (Retired) Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, United Kingdom.





Conference Conclusion, Overview of Upcoming Events and Close

Daily Conference Close, 5.00p.m.


Conference Close 5.00p.m.

Networking Dinner, Bar Italia, 6.30 p.m.



 This conference  is hosted by the Child Law Clinic, School of Law at University College Cork in collaboration with The Aire Centre in London, Child Circle in Belgium and the Centre for Women War Victims (ROSA) in Croatia and will take place in the Law Society at Blackhall Place, Dublin on the 30th and 31st of March 2017.  It is the fourth event in a series of conferences across Europe being organised as part of the Separated Children in Judicial Proceedings project, the object of which is to build the capacity for legal professionals (including judges) to become more aware of the need for child centred justice in all judicial proceedings involving separated children. The project is also focusing on ensuring that legal professionals benefit from the knowledge and tools provided so as to ensure that the conduct and outcomes of such proceedings always take full account of the best interests of the child as a primary consideration.

This event will focus on the use and application of international and European mechanisms of recourse for the protection of the rights of separated children, including the European Court of Human Rights, the European Social Charter, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure.

Target audience

Legal professionals & judges in Ireland and neighbouring countries, organisations involved in supporting separated children involved in litigation, professionals involved in multi-disciplinary child centred justice, organisations involved in international and European litigation, EU and regional actors involved in child friendly justice, NGOs, law centres, children’s ombudspersons, researchers and legal academics.

  Register your interest in attending this event by contacting Deirdre at

                                            ***Maximum CPD Points available: Thursday 5.75 points, Friday 6 points***



AIRE Centre Logo      Child Circle Logo   ROSA Logo    Child Law Clinic Logo  UCC LOGO 25 JAN 2017





                                                                                   EU Emblem

This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union

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