EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON THE EXERCISE OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS
The European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1995 and entered into force on July 1, 2000. As of November, 2005, twenty four countries have signed the convention and ten have ratified. Each country that has ratified the Convention is required to specify at least three types of family proceedings before judicial authorities to which the Convention will apply, including care procedures and removal and restriction of parental responsibilities.
A. Procedural rights of a child
Article 3 – Right to be informed and to express his or her views in proceedings
A child considered by internal law as having sufficient understanding, in the case of proceedings before a judicial authority affecting him or her, shall be granted, and shall be entitled to request, the following rights:
b. to be consulted and express his or her views;
B. Role of judicial authorities
Article 6 – Decision-making process
In proceedings affecting a child, the judicial authority, before taking a decision, shall:
b. in a case where the child is considered by internal law as having sufficient understanding:
o allow the child to express his or her views;
c. give due weight to the views expressed by the child.
C. Role of representatives
c. determine the views of the child and present these views to the judicial authority.
The Convention: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/160.htm
Summary of the Convention: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Summaries/Html/160.htm
Explanatory Report: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Reports/Html/160.htm
List of Signatories and Ratifications: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=160&CM=8&DF=29/11/2005&CL=ENG
Council of Europe: http://www.coe.int/Defaulten.asp (General governing body which adopted the Convention)
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