02 April 2015

Two Great Conferences on Children and the Law: Save the Dates!

Best Practices in Child Legal Representation Conference
6, 7 and 8 May 2015
Calgary, Alberta

The Alberta Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is hosting its third biennial Best Practices in Child Legal Representation Conference at the Sheraton Cavalier in Calgary. This conference will demonstrate what good child legal representation looks like and how those who represent children and youth can do so in the best possible way. The goal of the conference is to further develop and improve child legal representation practices.

Sessions will draw on experts in the field — including me! — to lead discussions on current issues, to hear about new ideas of practice, and to learn from other jurisdictions. The conference will be an opportunity to reflect and develop new plans for practice and ultimately, to provide better outcomes for children and youth.

I went to the OCYA's 2013 conference and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the programming and organization.

The early bird conference fee is $399, after today the fee will be $425. For more details and to register, go to the conference webpage.

  Access to Justice for Children Conference
14 and 15 May 2015
Vancouver, British Columbia

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia is hosting the Access to Justice for Children Conference at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver. The conference will be relevant to anyone whose work involves children, including mental health professionals and lawyers practicing human rights law, family law and child protection law. An impressive faculty lineup will be herded by the Honourable Donna Martinson, a retired judge of the BC Supreme Court, and Suzanne Williams, a lawyer with the International Institute for Child Rights and Development.

Participants will learn about:
  • the nature of and scope of domestic and international legal rights of children, both generally and with respect to children’s broad participatory rights;
  • the lived reality of and complexity of children’s lives (including information about the essentials of child development), and how children’s lived realities are linked to legal analysis;
  • the nature of the access to justice barriers children face in all areas of law, including a consideration of the unique circumstances of Indigenous children;
  • practical ways in which lawyers have used and can use the legal system to overcome barriers children face, in all areas of legal practice, and when engaged in all legal processes, including court proceedings, out of court dispute resolution processes, and formal and informal administrative proceedings;
  • the ways in which principles of indigenous justice apply and can help inform non-indigenous decision making processes, including out of court dispute resolution  processes;
  • services, including legal services, that are available to lawyers to assist children; and,
  • future ways in which lawyers, both individually and working together, in BC and across Canada, can help to enhance equal access to justice for children.

I've been involved with CLEBC for many years. The quality of their courses and seminars has always been outstanding.

The early bird conference fee is $1,005, after 16 April 2015 the fee will be $1,110. A variety of bursary and discounts are available, as well as a lower rate for those attending by webinar. For more details and to register, go to the conference webpage.

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