LA CHILD project research presented in a publication in a prestigious journal
A. Limantė, R. Vaičiūnienė and J. Apolevič, researchers at the Institute of Law of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, have published an article "Child-Friendly Legal Aid and Individual Assessment of Children in Conflict with the Law: Building the Basis for Effective Participation", which, among other things, presents the research carried out during the LA CHILD project. The article was published in the prestigious International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 3.39 (2020)).
This article focuses on the importance of the right to effective participation of children in conflict with the law in criminal (youth justice) proceedings. In particular, it explores two procedural aspects which are closely related to the right to child-friendly legal aid and the role of individual assessment. The authors claim that qualitatively identifying the needs of the child (through the instrument of individual assessment) and establishing a relationship of trust with a specifically trained legal aid lawyer is critical in raising the child’s status to that of an active participant in the proceedings and ensuring that the best interests of the child are observed. The authors also suggest that such an initial encounter within the justice system forms an attitude (of either confidence or rejection) of the child towards public institutions and, accordingly, directly affects the effectiveness of further interventions. To support their position, the authors of the paper bring several examples from the comparative research carried out in two European projects (LA CHILD and IA CHILD), noting, regretfully, that the initial interventions often suffer from formal implementation and lack a systemic approach.
The full publication in English is available here.