Conference

The results of the comparative study, mentioned above, were presented during a regional conference which was organised in co-operation with the Ministries of Justice and Social Affairs of Estonia and in collaboration with the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) as a supporting partner.

This event gave to the many participants the opportunity to better understand how good practices on handling, protecting and testing children’s evidence have been put in place in the Baltic Sea Region, how they function and the critical factors that have contributed to their success.

During the discussions, participants were invited to reflect on how certain practices presented could be integrated into their own legal systems and the different activities that can contribute to their implementation.

Group of Specialists on Child-Friendly Justice (CJ-S-CH)

In November 2007, the Ministers of Justice of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on child-friendly justice, entrusting the competent bodies of the Council of Europe to prepare elements for European Guidelines on child-friendly justice intended to assist member states in ensuring that children have favourable access to justice, and to enhance the treatment of children whenever they, for whatever reason, come into contact with civil, administrative or criminal justice authorities.

A Group of Specialists on child-friendly justice (CJ-S-CH), set up under the authority of CDCJ, was instructed to produce draft guidelines on child-friendly justice. The group started its work in 2009. It needed four meetings over 2009-2010 (16-17 April, 28-30 September and 8-10 December 2009; 25-28 May 2010) to complete its work.

Some events were also organised in the context of the preparation of the draft guidelines:

  • A high-level Council of Europe Conference on the future of the programme “Building a Europe for and with children” (8-10 September 2008), which discussed the strategy for 2009-2011 to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers in November 2008. This conference was the opportunity for all stakeholders to identify the areas that needed to be addressed in the guidelines.
  • A Conference on “The protection of children in European justice systems” (Toledo (Spain), 12-13 March 2009.
  • A hearing with international NGOs and other stakeholders on the draft text under preparation (Strasbourg, 7 December 2009).
  • An extensive and direct consultation of (almost 3800) children and young people throughout Europe (29 January 2010) on their experiences, by means of a questionnaire.

After this consultation of children and young people, a full report and a summary report have been prepared by the CJ-S-CH consultant expert who also prepared a child-friendly version of the report.

The draft Guidelines, prepared by CJ-S-CH, were approved by CDCJ before being submitted to the Committee of Ministers for adoption. The Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child-friendly justice were adopted on 17 November 2010.

Information about the preparation of the Guidelines can also be found at: