Céril van Leeuwen wins Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2016
On the 6th of December, Céril van Leeuwen has won the Jaap Doek Children’s rights thesis award for her thesis ‘The right to be heard restricted: is this desirable in the civil law proceedings?’ This award, for the best master thesis in the area of Children’s Rights, is annually granted by Defence for Children and the Child Law Department of Leiden University.
The thesis of Céril was chosen out of the five selected nominees. The jury chose Céril’s thesis because of the interdisciplinary character of her research, the clear style of writing and her nuanced conclusions.
The thesis was awarded with € 500,- , to spend freely, and an organized trip to Geneva combined with a visit to the UN Children’s Rights Committee.
The right to be heard
In her thesis, Céril looks at the function and value of the 12-year age limit of the right to be heard for children in the Netherlands, throughout four different perspectives: a legal theoretical perspective, a legal historical perspective, an international law perspective and a pedagogical perspective. The main question of her thesis was, to what extent the Dutch legislator should maintain, adapt or abolish this age limit.
Céril: “The 12-year age-limit of the children’s right to be heard is in the best interests of the child, and according to my research, it should be lowered to a younger age. Therefore, a pedagogical research should be conducted.”
Before the Jaap Doek Children’s rights thesis award was given, Professor Ton Liefaard, UNICEF professor of Children’s Rights at Leiden University, welcomed the attendees. After this word of welcome, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, dean at University College Cork Law School, gave a lecture in which she reviewed the more than 25 years UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the developments that took place in the area of children’s rights in this turbulent time.
The five nominees were also given the opportunity to shortly expound their thesis.
Book launch ‘25 years CRC’
The award ceremony was followed by the launch of the recently published book: ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Taking Stock after 25 Years and Looking Ahead’ on 25 years of CRC. This international publication contains 46 chapters, in which several children’s rights themes are discussed. The book is the result of a large international congress – ’25 Years CRC’ – which was held in November 2015 in Leiden on the occasion of the 25th birthday of the CRC. Editors prof. Ton Liefaard and Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen, both connected to Leiden University, are hoping that the book will find its way to scientists, students and professionals anywhere in the world.
For the nominees of the Jaap Doek Children’s Rights Thesis Award 2016, click here.
Download the thesis ‘The right to be heard restricted: is this desirable in the civil law proceedings?’ (in Dutch) of the winner: Céril van Leeuwen, here.