Free Hybrid Event to mark UK Children’s Day – “Upholding Children’s Rights? Implementation of the UNCRC: A Comparison of England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland”

Tuesday 14 May 2024, 5.30pm-7.30pm

Chambers & Online

This hybrid event was brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Children's Rights Team.

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2024
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm, followed by networking drinks
Venue: Chambers & Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Youth Justice & Child Rights , Children's Rights

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Garden Court Chambers Children’s Rights Team hosted a celebration of children’s rights, exploring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the comparative approaches taken by the four nations of the UK to mark National Children’s Day UK (NCDUK).

Our distinguished speakers spoke on the various ways the devolved powers have affected the implementation of the UNCRC. Our panel spoke about the different experiences across the four nations and shared perspectives on incorporation of the UNCRC into law within these systems, to better understand what is and what isn't working, and learn how practitioner's can use children’s rights in litigation.


5.30pm: Registration

5.45pm: Introduction & Welcome

5.50pm - 7.00pm: Panel Discussion

  • Dr Rhian Croke, of the Children’s Legal Centre Wales and Swansea University, provided the Welsh perspective and discussed domesticating the UNCRC through the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 and its impact on the status of children's rights in Wales.
  • Professor Bruce Adamson, former Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, spoke on the Scottish experience and the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act 2024 due to come into effect on 16 July.
  • Dr Deena Haydon provided the Northern Irish perspective drawing on twenty years of research, having authored the Northern Ireland NGO Stakeholder Report 2 Evidence, and Rights Here, Right Now: Children and Young People’s Report submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2022.

  • Amanda Weston KC and Kate Aubrey-Johnson, both of Garden Court Chambers, spoke on the ways that Article 3(1) UNCRC and Article 12 have been made meaningful in the English courts.

7.00pm - 7.30pm: Case Studies and Q&A Session
Our speakers were joined by Rajiv Menon KC, Jennifer TwiteAdrian Berry and Elena Papamichael, who looked at examples from criminal cases, civil actions against the police, immigration and nationality, and the Covid Inquiry, discussing how to litigate the UNCRC. In any case involving children, lawyers should feel confident to rely on UNCRC rights in their cases, leaving practitioners confident to use this important international treaty protection within their practice.

7.30pm: Drinks & Networking


Kate Aubrey-Johnson, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Kate is a youth justice specialist barrister and mediator at Garden Court Chambers with experience as a criminal defence practitioner and public lawyer. She is a convenor of the Garden Court Children's Rights Team. Kate is co-author of the leading textbook Youth Justice Law and Practice (LAG, 2019), consultant editor for Halsbury’s Laws of England, Vol 27, Criminal Procedure (5th Edition) on proceedings involving children. She is a lead facilitator for a forthcoming Inns of Court College of Advocacy course for ‘Advocacy for Children in Conflict with the Law’ and she chairs the Ministry of Justice/Youth Justice Board’s Quality of Advocacy Working Group. 

Amanda Weston KC, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Amanda is a leading public and administrative law silk. She co-authors Judicial Review: A Practical Guide (Lexis Nexis) and is a member of the ‘A’ Panel of preferred Counsel who act for the Equality & Human Rights Commission. Amanda has acted in hundreds of asylum and human rights appeals including in high-profile and sensitive cases and those involving extradition. Her cases include gender and sexuality cases, complex political and religious cases and appeals for children and vulnerable adults. Amanda also acts in cases in the Family Division, Administrative Court and appeal courts where the rights of children and young people are in play. 

Dr Rhian Croke, Child Rights Strategic Litigation and Policy Advocacy Lead, Swansea University
Dr Rhian Croke is the Child Rights Strategic Litigation and Policy Advocacy Lead for Children’s Legal Centre Wales, leading on promoting an environment that uses the law strategically to affect change for children in Wales. She also carries out research and advisory work with the Observatory on Human Rights of Children, working with public bodies and advising them on embedding children’s rights into practice. Rhian was previously the Coordinator of the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group, where she played a pivotal role in leading children’s rights monitoring and reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and successfully promoted legislative and policy reform on children’s rights. Rhian has a PhD from the School of Law at Swansea University, an MPhil in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town and an LLB from the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Bruce Adamson, former Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland
Bruce Adamson is a Professor in Practice at the University of Glasgow School of Law, working with the Glasgow Open Justice Centre, which aims to drive social change through legal education and research. A human rights lawyer qualified in three jurisdictions with over 20 years of experience, Bruce has worked as an international expert for the UN, the Council of Europe, EU, OSCE, UNICEF and various other international bodies. He was the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland from 2017-2023, playing a leading role in the incorporation of the UNCRC. Bruce is also the current Vice-Chair of the Child Friendly Governance Project.

Dr Deena Haydon, Children’s Rights Activist, Northern Ireland
Dr Deena Haydon is an independent research consultant based in Northern Ireland. Her main areas of research and publication focus on social constructions of ‘childhood’, implementation of children's rights, early intervention, youth justice, secure care and custody. She has worked with government departments, health and social care services, local authorities, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Children's Law Centre and other NGOs working with children and families. In addition to book chapters and journal articles, she has produced reports, resources for children and practitioners, consultation responses and submissions to the CRC. She has presented workshops, seminars and conference papers to academic, professional and public audiences in the UK, Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. 

Rajiv Menon KC, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Rajiv is Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers. He has 30 years of experience and expertise in a wide range of serious, complex and high-profile cases. He was made silk in 2011. Rajiv’s primary area of work is criminal defence, both at trial and appellate level. He also specialises in related areas of criminal justice including inquests, inquiries, police actions, extradition, regulatory law, criminal judicial review and ECHR applications. Rajiv has a particular interest in cases involving human rights violations, miscarriages of justice, political protest and the abuse of power by the state.

Adrian Berry, Garden Court Chambers
Adrian’s practice spans a range of inter-related public law areas concerning citizenship, immigration, human rights, international protection, and social assistance. Adrian acts for a small number of clients with complex and sensitive asylum and international protection claims. He provides advice and representation in matters arising under the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Refugee Qualification Directive (2004/83/EC) and the European Convention on Human Rights. He writes a blog on migration, citizenship, and free movement called Cosmopolis and also has a blog on Nationality and Citizenship law. 

Jennifer Twite, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Jennifer is a specialist in youth justice and children’s rights. Her public law practice involves taking challenges regarding the disclosure of criminal records, criminal-justice-related judicial reviews and community care. Jennifer has been involved in a number of high-profile cases involving the rights of children within the criminal justice system at all levels up to the Supreme Court. She co-authored 'Youth Justice Law and Practice' and sits as a Deputy District Judge in the Magistrates’ Court. Jennifer also has expertise in strategic litigation, having been Head of Strategic Litigation at Just for Kids Law for seven years before joining Chambers.

Elena Papamichael, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Elena Papamichael is a crime and youth justice specialist, regularly instructed in complex and serious cases representing children in the Youth Court and Crown Court. Elena co-authors the youth justice update for Legal Action (the legal magazine published by the Legal Action Group) and has worked on a youth justice research project with Newcastle University & the Youth Justice Legal Centre where she has been selected to provide expert advice. She has worked to develop the youth justice assessment for pupils in chambers. Elena achieves particularly successful outcomes for child victims of criminal exploitation / trafficking though her forensic understanding of the guidance and case law.  

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