Access to Justice for Children with Mental Disabilities

Project Coordinator: Dr. Eilionoir Flynn

Lead Researcher: Jenni Kline

‘Access to Justice for Children with Mental Disabilities’ is a multicounty EU Commission funded project that is coordinated by the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre in Budapest. NUI Galway is one of the 10 project partners and is responsible for compiling the report for Ireland.

The project is looking at how the rights enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (not ratified by Ireland) are protected and applied to children with mental disabilities across difference justice related procedures. The project looks at justice as encompassing administrative and judicial proceedings in the context of education (assessment of needs, school choice, service statements and appeals), housing (in care and custody proceedings as well as residential care) and criminal justice (alleged offenders and victims).

For the purpose of this project, the term ‘mental disabilities' includes children who identify with or are diagnosed as having any form of intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial (mental health) disability. The term also encompasses Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and acquired brain injury.

The research will be used for advocacy and the development of training and educational materials aimed at ensuring the access to justice for children with mental disabilities.

The project involves both desk based and empirical research and is currently interviewing professionals and parents who have experiences with children with mental disabilities who were a part of any of the above listed procedures. If you would like to contribute to this research please contact Jenni Kline by email or by phone at 091 494016

You can also download the full report Access to Justice report or Access to Justice report versions.