The Legal Effect of Best-Interests-of-the-Child Reports in Judicial Migration Proceedings: A Qualitative Analysis of Five Cases

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In 2006 the Study Centre for Children, Migration and Law began research on a method for diagnostic assessments of, and reporting on, the best interests of the child in migration law cases. The reports, which are based on the Best Interests of the Child Model of Kalverboer and Zijlstra (2006) and which are drawn up in line with General Comment No. 14 of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, currently fill a gap in Dutch migration law and administrative practice regarding the state’s obligation under international law to take the best interests of the child into account in every decision concerning children. This chapter presents the preliminary results of a qualitative analysis of the legal effect of submitting the assessment reports by lawyers in Dutch judicial migration proceedings. The reports strengthen the relevant appeal procedures, although the child depends on a lawyer who is able to make a good transposition of social-behavioural expert opinions into legal terms. The reports also enhance compliance with the CRC. However, the best interests of children are not necessarily fairly balanced. Here, General Comment No. 14 may offer an opportunity for lawyers further to substantiate the best interests of the child.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Subtitle of host publicationTaking Stock after 25 Years and Looking Ahead
EditorsTon Liefaard, Julia Sloth-Nielsen
Place of PublicationLeiden/Boston
PublisherBrill / Nijhoff
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-29505-6
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-29504-9
Publication statusPublished - 20-Nov-2016


  • best interests of the child
  • migration law
  • asylum law
  • immigration law
  • children's rights
  • crc
  • legal effect
  • decision-making
  • judicial

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