Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Guest lecture asylum lawyer Bart Toemen

As a lawyer, how can you contribute to ensuring that the best interests of the child play a greater role in immigration law? That question was the topic of asylum lawyer Bart Toemen's guest lecture in the course ‘Kind en migratie’ (child and migration), given in the master’s programme ‘Jeugdrecht’ (Child Law).

In the lecture, Toemen first gave an overview of the lack of effect of the best interests of the child in the Dutch Aliens Act and underlying regulations. Using examples from his own practice, he then showed that by invoking international law provisions, such as Article 3 CRC and Article 24 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, it is still possible to enforce that the best interests of the child play a role in immigration law decisions.

This is a particular focus in the preliminary reference by the District Court of Den Bosch concerning westernised minor sisters from Iraq. In that case, in which Toemen is acting as attorney for the girls, the Court of Justice of the European Union will rule on the role of children's rights in asylum law.

In his lecture, Toemen emphasised that as a public interest lawyer in the field of immigration law, you can really make a difference. Children's rights still do not play a prominent role in immigration law and the students from the master’s programme in Child Law could make a valuable contribution to this.

This website uses cookies.  More information.