Children need representation, lawyer warns

    Children must be separately represented in private law cases if
    their rights are to be effectively upheld, a leading family lawyer
    has said, writes Mithran Samuel from Nagalro’s annual
    conference.

    Chris Blackburn told the conference that representation was
    being restricted on economic grounds.

    Blackburn, head of family law at John Whittle Robinson
    solicitors, said: “Children have one massive right missing
    and that’s the right to representation.”

    Currently children can only be represented in private law cases
    if a judge rules that they have significant needs, in which case a
    guardian is appointed.

    Blackburn said there should be a presumption that children would
    be represented, adding: “We should find the money. If we
    believe in children’s rights, let’s empower
    them.”

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