The protection of children's human rights in Europe. The jurisdiction of the European Court on corporal punishment and abuse of children in the United Kingdom


Master's Thesis, 2005
58 Pages, Grade: Merit, 68%

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Chapter 1: Analysis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Core stipulations and values of the CRC
The implementations mechanism of the CRC

Chapter 2: Analysis of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
The implementation mechanism of the ECHR
Limitations of the ECHR regarding the protection of children’s human rights

Chapter 3: The verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights regarding corporal punishment of children by third parties
Judicial corporal punishment
Corporal punishment in other institutional settings

Chapter 4 : Verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights regarding corporal punishment and abuse in the private domain and the reflection of the CRC
Corporal abuse in the private sphere more generally
The reflection of the CRC in the public discourse surrounding the corporal punishment and abuse of children

Conclusions

Bibliography

Abstract

The analysis undertaken in this dissertation gives attention to three core foci of examination. The first two are international legal documents used in the protection of human rights: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) from 1989 and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) from 1950. The third focal point consists of an investigation into a specific area of jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) regarding the protection of human rights of children: the phenomenon of the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the UK.

This selection of verdicts of the European Court aims at portraying how the ECHR impacts on the child’s human rights in practice and how well the work of the European Court reflects the values enshrined in the CRC and also gain an understanding of how the two conventional systems might impact on the other. The third chapter investigates verdicts of the Court that have dealt with cases that derive from institutional settings (judicial corporal punishment and punishment in public schools). The fourth chapter will observe private settings, where cases of corporally punished children relate to the private sphere (e.g. punishment through parents). Beside, it is intended to give a short outlook on two selected cases where a matter of more general abuse of children was under judicial scrutiny.

The dissertation concludes that both the CRC and the ECHR are characterised by a number of more or less serious flaws and drawbacks in relation to the protection of children’s human rights. The narrow textual scope of the ECHR and the significant weaknesses of the CRC regarding its implementation mechanism are two prominent examples. The paper suggests that in Europe, the trend of maximising the potential of the European Convention by combining the widely accepted, detailed standards on children’s rights set out in the UN Convention with the highly successful and influential system of individual petition and implementation should find its continuation and be strengthened even further.

Introduction

The phenomenon of the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the UK has remained with us, despite the country’s ratification of the two eminent human rights treaties relevant to the field: the UK is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) since 8 March 1951[1] and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 16 December 1991.[2]

In late 2002, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee) issued its Concluding Observations following its consideration of the UK’s second periodic report under the CRC.[3] Although notable changes in the UK’s legal landscape have occurred in recent years, to mention this much, the UN Committee was highly critical of the UK’s report regarding its efforts to comply with the provisions of the CRC. The Committee regretted the fact that many of its concerns and recommendations following its consideration in 1995[4] of the UK’s initial report had not been sufficiently addressed. It noted with concern, inter alia, the continued retention of the defence of “reasonable chastisement” and the lack of “significant action towards prohibiting all corporal punishment of children in the family”.[5] Above and beyond, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has repetitively ruled that the UK breaches Article 3 ECHR and other provisions of the European Convention due to it’s laws and practices regarding the corporal punishment and abuse of children.

In view of these facts, this dissertation intends to give a clearer picture of how the laws in the UK have been influenced by the above mentioned criticisms from the Committee and, more importantly, the European Court. It is aimed to reveal the modus operandi of both the CRC and the ECHR in order to analyse what mechanisms allow the documents to have an impact on the legislative and judicial practice in a sovereign nation like the UK. Beside, we will attempt to see what the weak points are in each of the texts that hinder them from having a more tangible leverage in the fight for broader and more effective protection of human rights of children. Most importantly, however, we will closely analyse some of the key cases that have been brought before the European Court and effected the changes and examine which have been the main arguments used by the parties and the Court.

In order to accomplish this, our explorations will methodologically approach the dissertation topic from four angles. Chapter 1 will consist of an investigation into selected prominent regulations and concepts of the CRC, relevant to our overall study. Specific importance will be given to the discussion of the implementation mechanism established under the CRC. The second chapter will comprise an appraisal of the aspects of the ECHR that are relevant to the protection of children’s human rights, including the earmarking of the most relevant characteristics of the Convention with regard to the child as well as the enforcement of the treaty through the European Court. Both these observations will shortly draw attention to a brief historic and general background of the respective treaties and thus offer a deeper understanding of the raison d’être of both texts.

The third and fourth approach (chapters 3 and 4) will shed some light on the narrow selection of verdicts of the European Court regarding the above mentioned phenomenon of the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the UK. Thus, the attempt will be made to show how the ECHR impacts on the child’s human rights in practice, and how well the work of the Court reflects the values enshrined in the CRC, and also gain an understanding of how the two conventional systems might impact on the other. The third chapter on the one hand will investigate verdicts of the Court that have dealt with cases that derive from institutional settings (judicial corporal punishment and punishment in public schools). The fourth chapter , on the other, will observe private settings, where cases of corporally punished children relate to the private sphere (e.g. punishment through parents). Beside, it is intended to give a short outlook on two selected cases where a matter of more general abuse of children was under judicial scrutiny. Certainly, we should keep in mind that we ought to avoid the temptation of muddying the water of clear analysis by deducing general insights from single cases.[6] However, in order to fully appreciate the impact of both the ECHR and the CRC on the human rights of children, the application to specific practical cases is indispensable.[7]

It is clearly not the aim of this dissertation to argue that the phenomenon of the corporal punishment and abuse of children revolving around Article 3 ECHR is the only one, or the most important issue that has given rise to verdicts of the European Court. It is only one exemplary area and there are many other significant and controversial areas of jurisdiction that could have been chosen. Until 2001, the European Court has judged 133 British cases – often bringing controversy and legal changes in their wake. Its judgments against Britain have not only led to the banning of corporal punishment in schools. The end of the closed shop, the protection of journalists’ sources, changes in press law and stricter controls on telephone tapping have all been stimulated by Strasbourg’s verdicts.[8] Another important field touches prisoner’s rights and rights of homosexuals and other minorities.[9] Even the limited human rights area of the family and children is considerably broad and includes, inter alia, the right to a fair trial, the large area of family rights (and duties)[10] and the more general mistreatment of the child in various circumstances.[11] Given the limitation of space, through focussing on a limited and specific matter, however, we intend to delve into more analytical depth than if we had attempted to cover a wide range of issues of academic attention.

The particular issue of the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the UK seems worthy of our special attention and suitable as a focus of the dissertation for several reasons. Firstly, it appears that in the UK both attitudes towards and laws regarding the use of physical punishment as a means of disciplining children are in a remarkable state of flux and the more general protection of children from abuse is getting tighter.[12] Further, a notable public discourse in the UK regarding the CRC calls for a more specific analysis and gives evidence for the fact that children’s rights have begun to achieve a greater prominence in human rights regulations in recent years. Beside, the existence of a rich and not always homonymic literature on this matter (strongly influenced by and responsive to the European Court’s verdicts) suggests that we face an area of academic debate which is still developing and hence open to further scholastic contributions.[13]

Chapter 1: Analysis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The introduction has already mentioned the Committee on the Rights of the Child and pointed out that the provisions of the CRC have been used in the public discourse surrounding the cases brought before the ECHR regarding the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the UK. In order to be able to fully appreciate why the CRC has been able to influence the legal changes in the UK, we will in this chapter first offer a brief historic outlook on the CRC and then delineate some of the core stipulations of the Child Convention relevant to our overall analysis. Additionally, the implementation mechanism of the CRC will be shortly portrayed. Thus, we shall first shed some light into an area that will be of importance at a later stage of the dissertation.

The CRC has become and remains the primary international legal instrument on the right of the child and is the most authoritative standard-setting instrument in its field.[14] The CRC originated in a proposal[15] submitted by the Polish government to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1978.[16] The interest in protecting children in Poland dated back to World War II,[17] in which over two million Polish children were killed, many of whom had been subjected to Nazi persecution and medical experimentation.[18] Already less than ten years after the United Nations General Assembly had adopted the CRC in 1989, by September 1997 the Convention has been ratified by states almost unanimously.[19] This rapid and widespread acceptance of the text is impressive and noteworthy. No other specialized United Nations human rights convention has been accepted so quickly and with such apparent enthusiasm. The growing political significance of the CRC is evident in the fact that its provisions are now taken into account in all serious discussions of the rights of the child.[20]

The conditions under which children are living throughout the world, however, raise legitimate concerns about whether the entry into force and widespread ratification of the CRC has had and will have a tangible beneficial impact on the status and treatment of children.

Core stipulations and values of the CRC

All norms of the Convention - the rights of the child[21] - are theoretically equally important.[22] They are not all, however, equally controversial and some of them are, in practice, likely to be considered more important than others. There are four general principles enshrined in the CRC: the principle of Non-discrimination (Art. 2 CRC)[23], the principle of the “Best interests of the child” (Art. 3 CRC)[24], the “The right to life, survival and development” (Art. 6 CRC),[25] and lastly the principle of “the views of the child” is recognised in Art 12 CRC.[26]

In combination with each other, and through the other more specific provisions (for instance, article 19 CRC which demands the State takes all appropriate measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse – and is therefore of high importance for our third and fourth chapter) these principles mark a significant development in the approach of international law to the child.[27] The traditional focus has been on adopting a welfare-based approach to children, concentrating on their need for special protection and assistance. It is together with Art.12, which provides for children to have their views heard in accordance with their age and maturity, and Art.5, which recognises their evolving capacities, that the best interests of the child takes on a dynamic-rights based approach, which highlights the need to recognise their participatory rights.[28] Further, it underlines the fact that children have rights that are independent from rights of their parents – an important aspect as we shall see at a later stage of the dissertation.

The implementation mechanism of the CRC

The institutional framework of the implementation mechanism of the Convention revolves around the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee).[29] To some degree, the provisions of the Convention that pertain to the structure and functions of the Committee on the Rights of the Child track familiar ground of international human rights law. The CRC is therefore not, unlike some committees, established under other human rights conventions.[30] It consists of “independent experts” whose main function is to try to persuade countries that have ratified the CRC to effectively comply with its provisions.[31] In fact, the thrust of the Convention is to emphasize essentially non-confrontational implementation procedures. In other terms, the task of the Committee is to assist countries in meeting their obligations under the CRC rather than penalizing them for failing to do so.[32]

The entry into force of the CRC in September 1990 set in motion the procedures for conducting the first election of the Committee in February 1991. Since then, the committee, established under Article 43 CRC began the process of examining reports that the states parties to the convention have to periodically submit to the committee. It is under Article 44 CRC that States parties accept the duty to submit regular reports to the Committee on the steps they have taken to put the Convention into effect and on progress in the enjoyment of children's rights in their territories.[33] According to Article 44 (1) CRC, the parties to the convention are to report on “the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized in the convention and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.[34]

As to the question of the effectiveness of the CRC as a legal instrument, significantly, there is no procedure outlined in the Convention for individual complaints from children or their representatives.[35] The Committee may only request “further information relevant to the implementation of the Convention” (Article 44, paragraph 4 CRC). Such additional information may be requested from Governments if, for instance, there are indications of serious problems. It is clear that the ability of individuals to complain about the violation of their rights in an international arena would have brought a more tangible and effective meaning to the rights contained in the CRC.[36] In view of our later focus of analysis, under the existing system, a child that suffers from extensive corporal punishment and other physical abuse, for instance, is not entitled to apply to the Committee on the Rights of the Child – a major difference, as we shall see later, to the system established under the ECHR.

As the implementation system of the CRC is a non-judicial and non-binding modus operandi and is very different from the methods and structures utilised by well-established domestic law structures, many regard the framework as simply too ineffective. The method should, however, as Foster has pointed out, be seen as “fulfilling the aims of international recognition, respect, promotion and protection of fundamental rights and should not be dismissed solely on the grounds that they do not involve judicial enforcement of the rights it seeks to protect.”[37] As we shall see at a later stage in our analysis, the CRC can successfully be used as a solid leverage in the public discourse and serve as a strong argument for government action aiming at the protection of children from (physical) abuse.[38] Chapter 4 will more closely explore how the impetus of the CRC has been successfully used as a leverage in the efforts to establish a better domestic human rights protection in the UK.

Chapter 2: Analysis of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

This chapter will briefly examine the European Convention in view of child-specific components.[39] Of paramount importance will be the study of the implementation mechanism of the Convention, given that a selected area of the jurisdiction of the European Court is the key focus of the dissertation. Beside, we will attempt to highlight selected key strengths and weaknesses of the ECHR when applied to the subject of the child in order to set the ground and provide understanding for the more specific observations that will be undertaken in the third and fourth chapter.[40]

As for our focal point of attention, the child, the European Convention does not make any specific reference to the essential needs of childhood. The ECHR does not define what a child is. Also, the Convention does not acknowledge that the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society. Indeed, in contrast to, for instance, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, on which the ECHR has been drawn, the Convention explicitly lacks even the most basic recognition of the rights of the child.[41] Hence, the question arises as to how the Convention can find application to children and how they find legal protection under the framework of the ECHR.

There are two prominent lines of reasoning that give an answer to this question. Firstly, despite these obvious textual shortcomings, one can detect stipulations of the Convention that do make provisions for the protection of children in certain, specific areas, a few of which we wish to examine very shortly. Article 5 ECHR, for example, permits the detention of a minor for the limited purpose of educational supervision or for bringing him or her before the competent legal authority, thereby providing for the rehabilitation of minors in conflict with the law and their protection from harm. Article 6 ECHR, which recognises the right to a fair trial, provides that the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial where the interests of juveniles are concerned. This offers the member states the potential to restrict the right to a public trial where children are involved in one form or another in order to protect them from undesirable exposure, and equally protect their privacy during the proceedings.

Further, Article 2 of the First Protocol to the ECHR guarantees the right to education, and recognises the right of parents to ensure that the education and teaching of their children is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions. This latter concept affirms the dominance of the parental role in the rearing and education of children.[42] This is reflected too in Article 5 of the Seventh Protocol to the Convention, which guarantees parental equality, during marriage and in the event of its dissolution, and also recognises the State’s right to take measures considered necessary in the interests of the child.

Secondly, although the Convention makes only few express references to the rights of children this does not mean that the child is not equally entitled as adults. It is hence crucial that Article 1 ECHR obliges the States to secure the conventional rights and freedoms to “everyone” in their respective domestic jurisdictions. Children can not be excluded from the notion of “everyone”. This principle of equal entitlement to Convention rights is crucially reinforced by Article 14 ECHR, which prohibits discrimination in the enjoyment of Convention rights without proper justification on reasonable grounds. In theory then, the Convention rights are guaranteed to all, and there is little to prevent their application to children.

[...]


[1] See: http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=005&CM=&DF=&CL=ENG (Official Website of the Council of Europe). (Last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[2] See status of signatures/ratifications of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at: http://www.ohchr.org/english/countries/ratification/11.htm (Official website of the UNHCHR in Geneva). (Last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[3] For further information, see: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/deliver/document/14052.html (Last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[4] See: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/900b9844baf938bbc125697a00361391?Opendocument (Last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[5] See i.a.: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/deliver/document/14052.html (Last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[6] See the warning remarks of George in his methodological instructions in: George, A.L., 1979: “Case Studies and Theory Development: The Method of Structured, Focused Comparison”, in Lauren, P.G., (ed.): Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory and Policy, (New York: The Free Press,), p.43.

[7] As the reader will be able to notice, far greater emphasis lies on the third and fourth chapter. The first two considerably short chapters shall merely provide some more general understanding needed for the main analysis to be undertaken in chapters 3 and 4.

[8] Burton, Cathie: “Human rights coming home at last - Britain enacts Human Rights Act, reflecting European Convention on Human Rights”, New Statesman, Sept 25, 2000, (retrieved from www.findarticles.com on 2nd September, 2005). Online available at: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FQP/is_4505_129/ai_65911531. Also compare the listing and analysis provided by: Steiner, H.J and Alston: International Human Rights in Context – Law, politics, morals, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000 p.810-850. Also consider: Farran, Sue: The UK before the European Court of Human Rights – Case Law & Commentary, Blackstone Press Limited, London, 1996 as well as Clapham, Andrew: Human Rights in the Private Sphere, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996, p.13, 134 and 289.

[9] See: Steiner, H.J and Alston: International Human Rights in Context – Law, politics, morals, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, p.857.

[10] See, inter alia, Wallace, Rebecca M.M.: International Human Rights – Texts and Materials, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2001, p.182-187.

[11] See, for instance: P v United Kingdom, (2002) 35 E.H.R.R. 31; also consider comments and literature given at:

A v United Kingdom, [1998] 2 F.L.R. 959; [1998] 3 F.C.R. 597; (1999) 27 E.H.R.R. 611; 5 B.H.R.C. 137; [1998] Crim. L.R. 892; [1998] H.R.C.D. 870; [1998] Fam. Law 733; Times, October 1, 1998 (ECHR); as well as: Osman v United Kingdom (23452/94), [1999] 1 F.L.R. 193; (2000) 29 E.H.R.R. 245; 5 B.H.R.C. 293; (1999) 1 L.G.L.R. 431; (1999) 11 Admin. L.R. 200; [1999] Crim. L.R. 82; [1998] H.R.C.D. 966; [1999] Fam. Law 86; (1999) 163 J.P.N. 297; Times, November 5, 1998 (ECHR). Further literature references will be provided in chapter 3 and 4. For an analysis of the issues children, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, local authorities powers and duties, Right to effective remedy and sexual abuse, see: J.L.G.L. 2003, 6(2), D27.

[12] For further remarks see: Fortin, Jane: “Children's rights and the use of physical force”, September 2001, CFam, 13.3, (243), (retrieved from LexisNexis on August 30th, 2005).

[13] For interesting, contradicting views from the House of Commons debates from November 2004, see: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2004-11-02.238.2&m=1279 (last accessed on 22nd August, 2005).

[14] See the remarks and further guidance on literature about the CRC by: Brownlie, Ian, Goodwin-Gill, Guy S.: Basic Documents on Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2002, p241.

[15] See quotation in LeBlanc at p.16.

[16] See the remarks by: Brownlie, Ian, Goodwin-Gill, Guy S.: Basic Documents on Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2002, p241.

[17] Cities for Children – Children’s Rights, Poverty and Urban Management, UNICEF p.5.

[18] LeBlanc p.16.

[19] See the remarks by: Brownlie, Ian, Goodwin-Gill, Guy S.: Basic Documents on Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2002, p241.

[20] Importantly, the CRC is not the first, nor will it be the last international instrument relevant to the child. The Geneva Declaration of the Right of the Child, endorsed by the League of Nations in 1924, was the first major instrument to affirm this idea. The UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It has also adopted, along with other global and regional international organisations, many other child-specific and general-purpose human rights texts that affirm right of the child. As LeBlanc accounts a total of sixty-nine such instruments.

[21] For a general overview, compare: Newell, P.: The UN Convention and Children’s Rights in the UK, National Children’s Bureau, London, 1991. Also see: O’Neill, W., G.: “A Humanitarian Practitioner’s Guide to International Human Rights Law”, Occasional Paper, Institute for International Studies, Brown University, Nr. 34, May 1999, pp.18-22. Also compare: Rehman, Javaid: International Human Rights Law – A practical approach, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.397-402.

[22] LeBlanc p. xix.

[23] For further information, see: Cities for Children – Children’s Rights, Poverty and Urban Management, UNICEF p.13.

[24] For further information, see: Woolf , Mitchell: “Coming of age ? – The principle of “The best interest of the Child” EHRLR, 2003, Issue No.2 p.208. Also see: Cities for Children – Children’s Rights, Poverty and Urban Management, UNICEF p.13.

[25] For a discussion of this principle and the core norms of the CRC, see: Errera, R.: “Convention on the Rights of the Child – Distinction between self-executing and non-self-executing articles”, Public Law, Case Comment, Winter 1997, pp.723-725.

26 For further information compare the overview given in Cities for Children – Children’s Rights, Poverty and Urban Management, UNICEF p.7.

[27] For further remarks, see: Sureshrani, Paintal: “Banning corporal punishment of children”, Childhood Education, Fall 1999, (retrieved from www.findarticles.com on 2nd September, 2005). Online available at: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3614/is_199910/ai_n8874763.

[28] Woolf , Mitchell: “Coming of age ? – The principle of “The best interest of the Child” EHRLR, 2003, Issue No.2 p.208.

[29] The Committee is not the only international body concerned with the rights of the child. A number of international human rights bodies contribute to improving respect for the rights of children in their particular areas of competence. In addition to the above mentioned Committee, there is the Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and its Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which deals with aspects of the exploitation and mistreatment of children. For further information, see: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/index.htm (last accessed on 1st September, 2005).

[30] Compare, for instance, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Committee Against Torture (CAT).

[31] The Committee on the Rights of the Child currently holds three sessions a year, each of four weeks' duration and is therefore not a permanent institution.

[32] O’Neill, W., G.: “A Humanitarian Practitioner’s Guide to International Human Rights Law”, Occasional Paper, Institute for International Studies, Brown University, Nr. 34, May 1999, p.19. Also see: Rehman, Javaid: International Human Rights Law – A practical approach, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.401.

[33] For NGO Alternative Reports submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, see the CRIN-website: http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/treaties/crc.25/annex-vi-crin.shtml (accessed on 21st April 2005). Further information is also available at the website of the “NGO Group for the CRC”:

http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/publications/NGOCRC/NGOCRC-brochure.htm. See further remarks in: Freeman, M.: “Introduction: Children as Persons”, in: Freeman, M.: Children’s Rights – A comparative Perspective, Dartmouth, 1996, p.4.

[34] We will point at the reaction of the UK-government to some Concluding Observations from the Committee in Geneva regarding the corporal punishment and abuse of children in the fourth chapter.

[35] As we shall see at a later moment, this is one of the key differences to the implementation mechanism of the ECHR. Compare the information provided by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/petitions/index.htm (last accessed on 11th May, 2005). Also see the remarks by: Rehman, Javaid: International Human Rights Law – A practical approach, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.401.

[36] In reality, however, it is plainly unimaginable to have seen a global human rights enforcement mechanism taking shape, impacting on such a broad range of vital issues of government’s concern as the CRC. Although few, if any, states would seriously argue nowadays that their human rights policies and practices are exclusively matter of their domestic concern, many will still argue that they still are primarily matter of domestic concern. For more remarks on this, see: LeBlanc p.186. As Errera shows in his case comment, however, it is not impossible that a child might benefit from the CRC through a protective application of the Convention through a national court of law. The Conseil d'Etat (France) held in the commented case that Article 37 CRC had direct effect and could thus be invoked by the child, in view of its contents, which guarantee the child’s rights, and its precise and unconditional wording. See: Errera, R.: “Extradition of Minor – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – Direct Effect of Article 37”, Public Law, Winter 2001, pp. 811-813. Also see: Rehman, Javaid: International Human Rights Law – A practical approach, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.401.

[37] Foster p.19. Also see the remarks by: Rehman, Javaid: International Human Rights Law – A practical approach, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.401-402.

[38] For remarks on the CRC in relation to sexual and other child abuse in the UK, see: Masson, Judith: Case Commentary: “Securing Human Rights For Children And Young People In Secure Accommodation”, CFam 14.1(77), March 2002 (retrieved from LexisNexis on 30th August, 2005).

[39] For a more general overview on the ECHR, see: http://www.dadalos.org/coe/HR/TEACHING%20GUIDE%20TO%20THE%20EUROPEAN%20CONVENTION%20ON%20HUMAN%20RIGHTS.htm (last accessed on 28th August, 2005). Also see: Heffermann, Liz: Human Rights – A European Perspective, The Roundhall Press, 1994, p.31-33.

[40] The ECHR was the first comprehensive treaty in the world its field; it established the first international complaints procedure and the first international adjudication authority for the determination of human rights matters, which is the first international court before which individuals have automatic locus standi; it remains the most judicially developed of all the systems for the protection of human rights anywhere in the world, and it has generated a more extensive jurisprudence than any other part of the international system. The Convention therefore has certainly matured into the most sophisticated and effective human rights treaty in the world. For further information, see: Steiner, H.J and Alston: International Human Rights in Context – Law, politics, morals, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, p.786; Smith p.93 and 111; Moravcsik, A.: “The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe “, International Organisation, The IO Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 54, Issue 2, Spring 2000 p.218.

[41] Kilkelly, U.: The Child and the European Convention on Human Rights, Programme on International Rights of the Child, Ashgate Dartmouth, Hants, 1999, p.3.

[42] Ibid.

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Details

Title
The protection of children's human rights in Europe. The jurisdiction of the European Court on corporal punishment and abuse of children in the United Kingdom
College
University of Warwick  (Coventry Business School)
Course
Module Human Rights in Europe
Grade
Merit, 68%
Author
Year
2005
Pages
58
Catalog Number
V66210
ISBN (eBook)
9783638584500
File size
762 KB
Language
English
Tags
Europe, Convention, Rights, Child, European, Human, Fundamental, Freedoms, Court, Module
Quote paper
Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Law and Global Change Gabriel Vockel (Author), 2005, The protection of children's human rights in Europe. The jurisdiction of the European Court on corporal punishment and abuse of children in the United Kingdom, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/66210

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