Representing children in legal proceedings

Representing children in legal proceedings

Kylie Beckhouse

This webinar described notable developments and initiatives taking place internationally in the area of child legal representation.

Representing children in legal proceedings

This webinar was held on 9 July 2015.

The webinar recording is available on the CFCAtv YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

The legal representation of vulnerable children is arguably one of the most critical roles played by lawyers in the family and child protection legal systems. Child representatives play a vital role in facilitating the participation of the child, gathering evidence and focusing courts and parties on the views of the children who are the subject of these legal proceedings.

Kylie Beckhouse is a leader in the field of child legal representation practice and has just returned from a study tour of child legal representation schemes in America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In this webinar Kylie discussed notable developments and initiatives taking place internationally in the area of child legal representation. Kylie described her impressions of current international practices, and the initiatives that could improve Australian approaches to child legal representation.

Included in this webinar was an overview of a variety of different approaches in international practice, including:

  • the different structures utilised in each jurisdiction to deliver child representation services
  • how cases are allocated and child representatives are appointed
  • getting information about children and families before the courts early
  • roles and practices that support children and families through court processes
  • hearing the voice of the child
  • ensuring that quality child legal representation services are delivered
  • system-wide initiatives that improve outcomes for children

This webinar was presented in partnership with the Greater Melbourne Family Law Pathways Network.

Family Law Pathways Network

The feature image is by anroir, CC BY-NC 2.0.

About the presenters

Kylie Beckhouse

Kylie Beckhouse is Executive Director of Family Law at Legal Aid NSW. She is an accredited specialist in family law and an independent children's lawyer. She has been practicing exclusively in family law for over 20 years, initially in private practice and for the last 13 years at Legal Aid NSW. She is appointed to the Family Law Council of Australia and the NSW Children's Court Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Family Courts Children’s Committee, Law Society of NSW's Family Law Issues Committee, and National Legal Aid’s Family Law working group. In 2014 Kylie was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the administration of child legal representation schemes in overseas jurisdictions.

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