Belgium // Kick-off meeting project the Voice of the Child

On the 23rd of February, CILC organized the Kick-Off of the project “The Voice of the Child”. The meeting involved the presence of representatives from Studiecentrum Rechtspleging (SSR), Leiden University, Instituut voor Gerechtelijke Opleiding (IGO) / Institut de Formation Judiciaire (IFJ), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Scuola Superiore della Magistratura (SSM), Raad voor de Rechtspraak, the Court of Antwerp, the District Court of The Hague, and the Juvenile Court of Trento.

The Voice of the Child project stems from a documentary made in 2022 in The Netherlands “De Stem van het Kind”. The video is one of five that showcases the child’s role and position in legal proceedings from the position of the Judge.

The original documentary, produced by film maker Pieter Fleury, has been shown in all the courts of the Netherlands and provides a unique insight into the work of juvenile court judges. It should be said that it is not a ‘best practice’ but rather a look into the role or voice of the child in civil cases. At Leiden University, the movie has also been used to teach Master students of Child Law and International Children’s Rights. Remco van Tooren (Con-rector of the Dutch Training and Study Center for the Judiciary) stated that even watching the movie for the 4th time remains impressive and provides a good basis for discussion as it shows the judiciary as it stands.

The project aims to contribute to the EU strategy on the Rights of the Child and more specifically on child-friendly justice and will last two years. In those two years, the project aims to replicate the documentary in the Court of Antwerp in Belgium, the Court of Varna in Bulgaria and the Court of Trento in Italy. These videos will also showcase the different ways that the European judiciary implements Article 6 of the right of the child.


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