Children's rights have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Child-related impacts of the pandemic - and the actions taken by Government in response to it - range from experiencing food shortages to missing months of education, from increased exposure to violence in the home to mental health risks. However, the child rights aspects of the crisis have thus far gone largely unnoticed.

The Children’s Rights Group at Doughty Street Chambers held a series of seminars on child rights in the time of coronavirus.

Doughty Street Chambers Children’s Rights Group Annual Children’s Rights Lecture, 2020

Every year, in November, the international community celebrates World Children’s Day. It is celebrated each year to promote awareness of children’s rights and improving children’s welfare. 2020 has seen especial challenges for children’s rights, in particular the COVID-19 health crisis.

The Children’s Rights Lecture 2020 was be jointly delivered by Bruce AdamsonScottish Commissioner for Children and Young People, together with one of his young advisors, Beccie White. Reflecting recent developments in Scotland in terms of the pending full and direct incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scottish law, as well as the pressing need to encourage such advances in other parts of the UK, they will be speaking on the topic of advancing children’s rights in the UK.  

The lecture was chaired by the Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond.

The panellists were:

  • Louise King, Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE)

  • Anmol Kaur Singh, ChangeIt! Campaign (CRAE)

  • Professor Simon Hoffman, Swansea University

  • Shu Shin Luh, Doughty Street Chambers

  • Professor Aoife Nolan, Doughty Street Chambers and University of Nottingham

To watch the recording of the lecture, please click here.

Intermediaries for child defendants

The Children’s Rights Group at Doughty Street Chambers and the Youth Justice Legal Centre at Just for Kids Law invite you to join us in launching our legal guide on intermediaries for child defendants.

Lawyers representing children in the criminal courts need to recognise when a child defendant may require an intermediary and know how to ensure that the child gets one.

Our legal guide offers practical guidance and assists practitioners in navigating the legal resources and caselaw relevant to this often misunderstood niche area of work.

Please join us for this online seminar to hear from leading experts on this issue.


Professor Laura Hoyano - Barrister at Red Lion Chambers and Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford

Dr Brendan O’Mahoney - Forensic psychologist and registered intermediary

Joel Bennathan QC - Queen’s Counsel at Doughty Street Chambers

Joanne Cecil - Barrister at Garden Court Chambers

Katya Moran (chair) - Co-Head of the Youth Justice Legal Centre

To access the recording, please click here



Children's Rights and the Law in a Time of Coronavirus - Part 2

The speakers are: Marisa Cohen, Oliver Lewis and Zimran Samuel.

Speakers address further issues concerning child rights, including the particular impact of Coronavirus on disabled children and the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown on abuse and domestic violence.

To access the slides, please click here.

To access the recording, please click here.

Children's Rights and the Law in a Time of Coronavirus - Part 3

This online seminar considers child rights and the criminal justice system during the pandemic. The speakers are:

Kirsty Brimelow QC, who will discuss the coronavirus offences and policing during the pandemic, and the impact on child rights;

Maryam Mir, who will discuss the challenges of representing children and young people in the criminal courts during the lockdown; and

• Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform, who will discuss Covid19 and children in custody.

Chaired by Professor Aoife Nolan.

To access the slides, please click here.

To access the recording, please click here.

Children's Rights and the Law in a Time of Coronavirus Part 1

The speakers are: Professor Aoife Nolan, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Jamie Burton and Adam Wagner.

Speakers address the international and domestic legal frameworks on child rights, as well as providing an in-depth look at recent changes made to the safeguards and regulatory frameworks for children in need, child protection, and the right to education.

To access the slides, please click here.

To access the recording, please click here.