Launch of Centre for Children's Rights and Family Law
As part of the launch of the new Centre for Children’s Rights and Family Law, the School of Law at UCC recently played host to a group of distinguished international scholars in these fields, including visiting Fulbright scholar and international children’s rights expert Professor Jonathan Todres.
Following on from the success of the 2017 World Congress on Family Law & Children’s Rights for which the School acted as the local host organisation, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Dr Conor O’Mahony and Dr Louise Crowley were keen to maintain and develop the links among academics and institutions with strong track records in the areas of children’s rights and family law. UCC has long been recognised as the leading Irish university in these fields, with research undertaken into diverse subjects such as youth justice and detention; child care proceedings at the District Court; the legal implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; the rights of children of prisoners and emerging family formations in modern Irish society.
A call-for-papers circulated earlier this year led to a highly competitive selection process which resulted in academics from eight countries around the world (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, Netherlands, US, UK and Ireland) coming to Cork to participate in a Workshop on Frontier Research. As the name suggests, the Workshop focussed on new and ongoing research being undertaken by participants. Following a pre-read format, draft papers were circulated in advance, giving all those taking part an opportunity to consider the work of others and to enable meaningful discussion and feedback.
Over two days, the subjects discussed at the Workshop ranged from the rights of children to participate in decision-making to equal civil partnerships and the construction of the cohabitant and further to law reform in New Zealand and Australia.
Another highlight of the event was the public lecture delivered by Professor John Eekelaar of Oxford University who is Adjunct Professor at the School of Law. A world-renowned family law scholar, Professor Eekelaar’s address ‘Family Law and Identity’ covered a variety of issues including identity discourses, gender and ancestry.
The entire event was extremely successful with participants at the Workshop welcoming the feedback received from colleagues and expressing great interest in attending similar events in the future. A key outcome from the two-day launch was the strengthening of relationships with colleagues and institutions around the world undertaking research in areas of particular interest to scholars here in UCC.