The Child and Youth law Section aims to increase awareness in the Ontario bar of the rights of children and youth and the impact of legal issues and challenges on their lives. The Section brings together expertise from across different legal practice areas, coordinates professional development activities, provides strategic input, and responds to law, policy and legal research developments on matters affecting Ontario’s diverse populations of children and youth. By fostering awareness of the interdisciplinary aspect of legal problems faced by children and youth, the Section will act as a forum within the OBA for exchange and development, within and across legal subject areas, as well as other relevant disciplines, of best practices relating to excellent legal service provision to children and youth.
- Excellence in provision of legal services for children and youth
- Increase understanding and awareness within the legal community of the existence of children’s legal rights, entitlements and service best practices
- Seeing children as right holders – children’s rights are human rights (Canada has committed to United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children)
- The importance of being aware of the distinct aspects in the practice of law when dealing with children in any area
- Competent practice of law requires awareness of this
- Teaching people practicing in the area best practices and making others aware of the unique elements
- The Child and Youth Law Section coordinates and delivers professional development activities, provides advice, and responds to law, policy, and legal research developments on matters affecting Ontario’s children and youth. The Section aims to increase awareness in the Ontario bar of the rights of children and youth and the impact of legal issues and challenges on their lives.
- The Section reports to the OBA as appropriate in accordance with OBA policies.
The Section will realize its mandate through activities which may include:
- Monitoring and making recommendations with regard to the manner in which the legal profession in Ontario supports and provides for the legal representation of youth and children, including identification of barriers to access to justice for young people;
- Fostering an understanding of how many children face complex and intersecting social and legal issues; to do so by acting as a forum for exchange and development, within and across legal subject areas, as well as other relevant disciplines, of best practices relating to legal service provision to children and youth;
- Working collaboratively with other Sections, Forums and groups within the OBA to promote knowledge and skills development on issues within all legal areas which impact on youth and children;
- Supporting and promoting respect for the rights of children, in particular under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and their rights of participation in the justice system;
- Promoting awareness and use of Child Rights Impact Assessments in legal policy analysis;
- Providing advice and recommending positions and policy to support the effective development of youth and child law;
- As appropriate, liaising with and supporting the work of the CBA Children’s Law Committee and other CBA Branch Children’s Law Sections;
- As appropriate, fostering community partnerships that will enhance the work of the Section for the benefit of Ontario’s children and youth.