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Charlotte Mol wins fifth Jaap Doek Child Law Thesis Prize

On 14 December 2017 Charlotte Mol was awarded the fifth Jaap Doek Child Law Thesis Prize for her thesis: ‘The Child's Right to Representation of Article 12 UNCRC in Family Law Proceedings: A comparison and evaluation of the legal frameworks in Australia, France, the Netherlands and South Africa’. This prize for the best master thesis in the field of child rights is awarded each year by Defence for Children together with the Department of Child Law of Leiden University.

Charlotte’s thesis was selected from the top five nominated theses. The jury chose her thesis because it was well prepared in its methodology and subsequent elaboration. In addition, the topic is highly relevant from an academic and social point of view. Jaap Doek, jury chairman: "The score card Charlotte has developed with minimum standards for the application of Article 12 of the UN Children’s Rights Convention provides a thorough overview of the current position of countries”. The thesis was awarded a prize of € 500 to be spent as Charlotte wishes plus a trip to Geneva to visit the UN Children’s Rights Committee and the international office of Defence for Children.

A child’s right to legal representation

In her thesis Charlotte Mol examined to what extent a child is entitled to legal representation in family law based on Article 12 of the UN Children’s Rights Convention. Charlotte analysed how this is observed in four different countries: Australia, France, the Netherlands and South Africa. Charlotte: "I found it important that more research is done on the participation of children in family law. It is hoped that this thesis will give me the opportunity to proceed to more comparative research". Charlotte Mol is currently studying for a PhD at Utrecht University in the area of children in family law proceedings.

Protection of children’s rights in the digital environment

Prior to the award of the Jaap Doek Child Law Thesis Prize 2017, Professor Dr. Eva Lievens, Professor of Law & Technology at Ghent University, held a lecture on the importance of the protection of children’s rights in the digital environment.

Professor Ton Liefaard, UNICEF Professor of Children’s Rights at Leiden University, and Aloys van Rest, Director of Defence for Children added a festive touch to the anniversary edition of the thesis prize. They announced that in 2018 they will join forces at legal publisher SDU. Their collaboration is aimed at achieving more awareness of the Jaap Doek Child Law Thesis Prize and children’s rights in general. More details on their collaboration will be announced soon.

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