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CIC awarded new grant from the British Academy

The British Academy in London awarded a grant to Associate Professor Nicola Taylor and Dr Megan Gollop (Children's Issues Centre) and Professor Marilyn Freeman (University of Westminster Law School, London) to conduct an innovative interdisciplinary cross-jurisdictional demonstration project on the child objection defence in the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980. A global survey will be undertaken, together with interviews with family justice professionals, children who have objected to their return and their parents in England/Wales and New Zealand. The project also involves preparation of a literature review and case analysis, as well as three seminars in London, Europe and Auckland in March 2018.  (February, 2017)

Read more about the research.

Associate Professor Nicola Taylor wins prestigious international family law research award

The American-based Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) presented the Tim Salius President's Award 2016 jointly to Associate Professor Taylor and Professor Marilyn Freeman (Westminster University, London) for their "international work in promoting an empirically based approach in the field of child abduction and relocation." (July, 2016)

The Children's Issues Centre celebrates 20 years

CIC logoOn 17 July 2016 the Children's Issues Centre reached its 20th anniversary. The Centre celebrated this achievement at the 2nd Aotearoa New Zealand Childhood Studies Colloquium held in October, 2016.  Current Director, Associate Professor Nicola Taylor, former Director, Emeritus Professor Anne Smith, Children's Issues Centre Trust member and long-time Centre supporter, Professor Mark Henaghan and former Centre student, Dr Mary Ann Powell all reflected on the Centre's accomplishments over the last 20 years.

Read a University of Otago press release.

Read a feature in the University of Otago Magazine.

Previous events

Seminar: The inclusive school strategy as experienced by children in Ontario (Canada)

Professor Nathalie Bélanger (Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Canada), 16 May 2019, Dunedin.

Seminar: Social science research evidence: Opportunities & controversies in the family justice sector

Professor Judy Cashmore (Professor of Socio-Legal Research and Policy, University of Sydney Law School, Australia), 5 March 2019, Dunedin.

Seminar: High conflict separations & children resisting contact with a parent

Professor Nicholas Bala (Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Canada), 23 August 2018, Dunedin; in conjunction with the Otago Branch of the New Zealand Law Society and the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society and the Faculty of Law.

Seminar:  27 years is a long time - how different would a Convention on the Rights of the Child 2016 look?

Emeritus Professor Michael Freeman (Professor of English Law at University College London), 5 December 2016, Auckland, in conjunction with the Faculty of Law.

Public Lecture: From Article 12 to votes at 12

Emeritus Professor Michael Freeman (Professor of English Law at University College London), 30 November 2016, in conjunction with the Faculty of Law.

Symposium: Children's rights: International and national perspectives

28 November 2016, in conjunction with the Faculty of Law. Speakers included:

  • Professor Michael Freeman (University College London) - 'General state of children's rights in the world'
  • Judge Andrew Becroft (Children's Commissioner) - 'Through the UNCROC lens: NZ children under the microscope'
  • John Hancock (Human Rights Commission) - 'UNCROC in Aotearoa in 2016: Developments, challenges and themes arising from New Zealand's 5th period review under UNCROC'
  • Dr Amanda D'Souza (University of Otago) - 'Children's right to health: Progress, priorities, and possibilities'
  • Dr Emily Keddell (University of Otago) - 'To punish parents or protect children? The neoliberal ambivalence of child poverty policies in Aotearoa New Zealand'

Seminar: Children in care: International and national perspectives

21 November 2016. Speakers included:

  • Professor Robbie Gilligan (Trinity College Dublin) - 'Children in care: Key issues and research opportunities'
  • Associate Professor Nicola Atwool (University of Otago) - 'Issues and opportunities for children in care in Aotearoa New Zealand'
  • Luke Fitzmaurice (Ministry of Social Development) - 'Participation rights for children and young people in care: Embedding a participation ecosystem'
  • Dr Iain Matheson (Matheson Associates Ltd) - 'Slipping down ladders and climbing up snakes: The experiences of New Zealand university students who were formerly in care'
  • Kerri Cleaver (University of Otago) - 'Connections in care: Whakapapa, culture and identity - A Māori perspective'
  • Sarah Ashton (Ministry of Social Development) - 'The future of transition services in New Zealand: What does success look like and how can we measure it?'

Seminar: Hyper-parenting

Professor Jonathon Herring (DM Wolfe-Clarendon Fellow in Law, University of Oxford, and 2016 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer), 22 April 2016 (Faculty of Law Staff Seminar in conjunction with the CIC).

Book launch

Children's rights: Towards social justice by Anne B. Smith, 15 March 2016. Hosted by the CIC and the University of Otago College of Education.

2nd Aotearoa New Zealand Childhood Studies Colloquium

This was held in Dunedin on 20-21 October 2015 on the theme What does Childhood Studies mean for research, policy and practice? This followed on from the very successful 1st Childhood Studies Colloquium held in Auckland in November 2014. The 2015 Colloquium was co-hosted by the University of Otago Children and Young People as Social Actors Research Cluster, the Children's Issues Centre and the organisers of the 1st Colloquium. We are grateful to the University of Otago Humanities Division for their generous financial support for this event. The 20th anniversary of the Children's Issues Centre was also celebrated at the Colloquium.

Recent Visitors

  • Professor Judy Cashmore, Professor of Socio-Legal Research and Policy, University of Sydney Law School, Australia (2019)
  • Professor Nicholas Bala, Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Canada (2018)
  • Emeritus Professor Michael Freeman, University College London (2016)
  • Professor Robbie Gilligan, Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin (2016)
  • Professor Nigel Thomas, Professor of Childhood and Youth Research, University of Central Lancashire; Co-Director of The Centre for Children and Young People's Participation, England (2015)
  • Associate Professor Affrica Taylor, Geographies of childhood and education, University of Canberra, Australia (2015)
  • Dr Rae Kaspiew, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne (2014)
  • Professors Per Egil Mjaavatn and Nina Volckmar, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (2014)

Tribute to Emeritus Professor Anne B. Smith

The Children's Issues Centre acknowledges with deep sadness the passing of our inaugural Director, Emeritus Professor Anne B. Smith on 22 May 2016. Anne's scholarship and commitment to children's rights and well-being leave an enduring legacy for academics, researchers, policy makers, practitioners and students, both within New Zealand and internationally.

Read a tribute to Anne B. Smith.

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