Child’s best interest principle

24 aug 2018 09:00 10:00 ENG

Panel: Katre Luhamaa (UiB), Kirsten Sandberg (University of Oslo, member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child), Marit Skivenes (UiB), Asgeir Falch-Eriksen (Velferdsforskningsinstituttet NOVA, OsloMet – storbyuniversitetet), Kenneth Burns (University College Cork) and Thomas Meysen (the International Centre for Socio-Legal Studies). Moderators: Siri H. Pedersen and Hege S. Helland (UiB).

The English baby Charlie Gard, fatally ill, made headlines internationally in 2017 when the Supreme Court of England and later the European Court of Human Rights decided that is was in the baby’s best interest to be taken off life support. Recently another baby, Alfie Evans, died at Alder Hey hospital after life support was withdrawn. How can removal of life support be in the best interests of the child? What is the reasoning behind such a decision, and how does it correspond with Human Rights and the Rights of the Child? Judges apply significant discretion when making decisions regarding children. Some have accused the courts of using this vagueness as a means of implementing their own values and beliefs, rather than objectively assessing the child’s welfare, and applying legal principles consistently. Differences in outcomes on similar facts appear to support this view. What does this tell us about best interest considerations in the legal sphere?

The session marks the publication of Langford, Skivenes & Søvig (eds) Child rights in Norway: Measuring Compliance.



This event is part of the Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation and is free and open to all. For more information: https://www.lawtransform.no/event/childs-best-interest-principle/