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Hershman/Levy Lecture

Date:29 JUN 2007

Lord Justice Wilson, speaking at the Association of Lawyers for Children's Hershman/Levy Memorial Lecture on 28 June 2007, called for increased focus on a childs right to understand the court proceedings they are involved in. In his address 'The Ears of the Child in Family Proceedings' Lord Justice Wilson examined the role played by the different parties in family court proceedings and how important efforts to ensure a child's voice is heard in court have obscured the importance of ensuring children understand what is happening in court and why. The basic issues a child has a right to understand include:

  • issues raised in the proceedings;
  • the manner and timescale of the proceedings;
  • the different roles of the participants in the proceedings.

His Lordship emphasised the crucial importance of conveying to children the importance of their welfare in the court's decision and the account which the court will take of their own wishes. For more detail see August [2007] Fam Law.