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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO WEBSITE

 

The jurisdiction research reported in this website was compiled by 37 Yale Law Students and affiliates between July 2004 and December 2005 under the supervision of Professor Jean Koh Peters. These researchers were: Rebecca Borné, Will Bowen, Elaine Chao, Melissa Cox, Julian Darwall, Medha Devanagondi, Jamie Dycus, Nicole Estey, Eli Ewing, Patrick Geary, Ezra Goldschlager, Heloisa Griggs, Richard Herbst, Raquiba Huq, Elaine Kim, Zoë Klugman, Irina Manta, Geneva McDaniel, Mercedes McFarland, Samuel Merritt, Eugene Nardelli, Katie Pollock Ariella Puterman, Rahael Seifu, Nikhil Seshan, Theresa Sgobba, Vanita Shimpi, Christine Shin, Boris Sokurov, Sara Sternberg, Elinor Sutton, Samantha Tweedy, Michael Umpierre, Peter Vassilev, Kathryn Vogel, Rebecca Webber, and Bree Grossi Wilde. Each of these researchers spent dozens of hours per jurisdiction seeking to find everything that could be found within our internet, library, and personal resources pertaining to the law, and in some cases also the practice, relating to how children's are heard in child protective proceedings. Their work is the heart and soul of this website. I am particularly grateful to Zoë Klugman who researched 34 countries; Ariella Puterman who researched 14 countries; and Jamie Dycus who researched 11 jurisdictions, and to Ezra Goldschlager, Eugene Nardelli, Samantha Tweedy, and Raquiba Huq, who shouldered extra work in the eleventh hour to help us meet our deadline. I thank Elaine Chao for her work on the two state compensation charts. I also thank Martha Pollack, upon whose 1996 research we built our US survey results for 2005.

Their research was supported by the inexhaustibly generous and resourceful staff of the Lillian Goldman Law Library at the Yale Law School , who supported us collectively and individually with an internal research website, individual meetings, attendance at our seminars, and imaginative use of all available resources, including their own personal contacts. I am particularly grateful to Mark Engsberg, Teresa Miguel, Dan Wade, Stephanie Davidson, Scott Matheson, Lauren King and Gene Coakley for their day-to-day professional support of the student researchers. In addition, we thank Dorothy Woodson, curator of the Africana collection at the Sterling Memorial library at Yale University for her individual help, student by student, as we struggled with the African research. Without the depth of resources offered by these generous people, the extraordinary law library collection, and its collaboration with other libraries, this project could never have gotten off the ground.

Four students provided heroic integrative and oversight support to the project and served as my closest colleagues throughout the project. David Bartels was the first to suggest considering updating our 1996 American research and from the moment the website was planned until he finished taking the bar in August of 2005 devoted sixteen months of substantive and technical planning to the website. He and Bill Fray believed in the website from the start and are surely as responsible as anyone for its creation. Will Bowen also lent his many enthusiastic resources from the inception of the project, creating the massive Excel spreadsheet that organized our work from day one, doing an initial review of all 194 jurisdictions reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child taking over from David as the substantive and technical overseer of the project in August of 2005, and doing daily technical work and management alongside his substantive work in the last months. Will and Vanita Shimpi oversaw the work of taking the students's international research, creating a uniform presentation on the website, and compiling the massive amounts of data into the summary charts that appear under Research Summary. Bree Grossi Wilde single-handedly managed the coordination, finalization and charting of the fifty-six American jurisdictions and designed the US charts which appear under Research Summary. Each one of the four was a treasured interlocutor to me on the deepest dreams and largest conclusions of the project. Had these four students not cared for the project as if it were their own, no website would be here before you. I wonder if I will ever again work again with a team with such innate talent, selfless devotion to a project and the children behind it, thoughtful ideas and endless good cheer.

 

Keith Tsang, Luis Angulo, Tara Singh, Debbie Tropiano, Eugene Nardelli, Raquiba Huq and Maria Chvirko labored mightily in the final days of November 2005 to scan, clean and link documents and complete the technical jobs so that the website could be up and running by its launch date of December 1 st . Erica Ross, Francine Bourgeois, and Shan Tao also spent many hours scanning and preparing the documents linked to the website.

We are immeasurably indebted to contact people from around the world who took time from their important work on behalf of children in many different states and countries to speak to us and offer quality control on our research. For many of the jurisdictions these contact people identified on the jurisdiction's front page. We are particularly indebted to Jennifer Renne and Howard Davidson of the ABA Center for Children and the Law; Funke Ekundayo; Shirley Schroder of the University of Pretoria Academic Information Service , Oliver R. Tambo Law Library; Dr. Nabil Seyidov; Adem Arkadas; Jeanie Ollivierre; and Monica Eppinger. Marv Ventrell of the National Association of Counsel for Children was the first to see the data and gave us helpful insight and encouragement in a trip to New Haven in midNovember 2005. In addition to these people, our work on 250 jurisdictions has left us in the debt of hundreds of people we have consulted in the course of finding the text of the laws, and knowledgeable people in other jurisdictions. These people included friends of family of the researchers and librarians, personnel at NGO's around the world, personnel at consulates and embassies for the country jurisdictions, and many others identified by the ingenuity of our research staff. We are grateful to all who put aside time in their important work to help us develop this snapshot of worldwide provisions for children's voices being heard in these proceedings.

All research is made possible by the generosity of the Yale Law School . Deans Anthony Kronman and Harold Hongju Koh supported the project from its inception, and Associate Dean Ian Solomon and Mark Templeton arranged the financial support for the project. Dean Mike Thompson was instrumental in arranging for the logistical needs. Deputy Deans Anne Alstott and Dan Kahan generously made available the research assistants needed for the project. Susan Sawyer , Associate General Counsel at Yale University , offered invaluable legal counsel as the website was finalized. Law school administrative staff Judith Calvert, Beth Barnes, Cindy Breault, Pat Gunnoud, Jan Conroy, Jonathan Weisberg all helped with critical needs in the website's development. I am tremendously grateful to my colleagues at the Yale Law School clinical program, the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, Steve Wizner, Carroll Lucht, Brett Dignam, Giovanna Shay, Megan Chaney, Ronald Sullivan, Frank Dineen, Peggy Hamilton, Jay Pottenger and Bob Solomon, for their support and patience with the project, particularly because it required a substantial change in my clinic work during the course of the research. Deborah Tropiano provided essential administrative support to the project, the research seminar which supported the project, and the logistical needs of the researchers from the first day to the last. Kathryn Jannke, aided by the international community at both the University and the Law School, found translators for over two dozen languages in the course of the research. These translators and interpreters in turn made it possible for us to offer the texts of the laws in native languages. The administrative staff of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, including Linda McMahon, Maureen Furtak, and Maria Chvirko, provided daily logistical support to the project.

 

All of this work would have been for naught, had it not been for an extraordinary team of IT professionals and talented students who turned the raw research into a website usable globally. Yale Law School 's IT department surpasses its extraordinary ability only with its extraordinary patience and kindness. Will Bowen, David Bartels, Uyen Le, and Keith Tsang masterminded the design of the website you are now using. Uyenii, who worked on the project for over a year, also created a logo that captured both the global nature of the project and the beauty of the children we hope it may ultimately serve. Donna Lee, Kevin Bailey, Bill Fray, Dan Griffin, Brian Pauze, John Davie, Abigail Grow and Susan Monsen provided tremendous backup support to the web design team that put the website together.

 

I am personally indebted to Steve Wizner, Martha Pollack, Sue Bryant, Mark Weisberg, Alice Dueker, Gerry Hess, Marjorie Silver, Jackie Shapiro, Laurie Pearlman and Ron and Doreen Cooke for their personal and professional encouragement throughout the project. Annette Appell and Susan Brooks organized the conference that gave this project its forum and its deadline; Dennis Leski, my editor at LexisNexis, supported this research with his customary enthusiasm and resourcefulness. I also thank my mother and parents-in-law, Hesung Chun Koh, Ellen Ash Peters, Phillip Blumberg, Robert Peters and Cyvia Peters, for their endless support and love. My children, Liz Peters and Chris Peters, helped me think through the idea of the website when it was first conceived and lived with it cheerfully and patiently every day for a year and a half. Jim Peters has believed in my work on representing children since my first days as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society-Juvenile Rights Division in Manhattan in 1983 and sustained me every day of this project with his humor, his faith, and his excellent company.

 

Jean Koh Peters

New Haven , Connecticut

December 1, 2005

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