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INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES


ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONALE DES MAGISTRATS DE LA JEUNESSE ET DE LA FAMILLE
ASOCIACION INTERNACIONAL DE MAGISTRADOS DE LA JUVENTUD Y DE LA FAMILIA

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COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES & GUARDIANS AD LITEM

NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR CHILD PROTECTION IN MANILA

Eric F. Mallonga

Honorable Nimfa Vilches, Manila's most take a proactive stance, given their special po-
prominent Family Court Judge, has cast her sitions as judicial officers, in advising the
future with Filipino children. Gathering a pool court on issues of case management and the
of lawyers, social workers, mental health pro- formulation of directions on child assessment.
fessionals, and volunteers for her CASA/GAL Since they represent the child's interests in
(Court Appointed Special Advocates-Guardian court, it would be particularly helpful for
Ad Litem) program, Judge Vilches has galva- CASA/GALs to be present at all proceedings
nized a vision embodied in both the Anti- as part of the process for gathering informa-
Child Abuse Law (RA 7610) and the Child tions for the court. All agencies, which include
and Youth Welfare Code (PD 603). Since DSWD, health professionals and medical in-
1992, judges have been required to appoint stitutions, and the Bureau of Jail Management
Guradians Ad Litem for child-related cases. and Penology (BJMP), should be aware that
But the honorable judge has organized a whole CASA/GALs have a right of access to all re-
system to enhance the fairer treatment of chil- cords concerning a child under their special
dren, whether as complainant or as accused, guardianship.
within and outside the judicial environment.
Difficulties will be encountered as various in-
With highly motivated and specially-trained stitutions have their own ethical rules and
CASA/GALs, it is envisioned that Family regulations. In Davao City, for example, there
Court Judges will now seek the advice and was a minor irritant in the relationship be-
assistance of these guardians as to the conduct tween a DSWD-accredited child protection
of proceedings, and the range of possible or- agency and a medical institution when a social
ders and powers it may issue to protect the worker photocopied the medical records of an
child from further trauma and stress. They are abused child. According to the physicians,
envisioned to minimize ill effects of judicial medical records are highly confidential. Yet
procedures on children, especially those of those records were intended for social workers
tender age, but without supplanting the inde- to make a holistic assessment in preparing
pendence and impartiality of judges. Cases can their case study report for judicial authorities.
also be expedited with assistance from Certainly, all professionals working with chil-
CASA/GALs considering that delay has al- dren have an equal commitment to protect
ways been detrimental to children, who lan- children, and their participation in interagency
guish in unfriendly institutions or jails pending support to social welfare agencies is essential,
trial. if the best interests of children are to be safe-
guard. There should be no professional rivalry,
The Law provides that CASA/GALs are obli- or animosity, among professionals in the ser-
gated to explain legal proceedings to an af- vice of children.
fected child. They advise judges on the child's
ability to comprehend proceedings and ques- Confidentiality is a key issue in child protec-
tions propounded therein; advise prosecutors tion work. Differing and strongly held views
concerning the child's ability to cooperate; at- are voiced by professionals and the public
tend all proceedings and coordinate concurrent alike. On one hand, it is argued that informa-
administrative and judicial actions involving tion is shared around too freely. On the other,
the child. To my mind, CASA/GALs must it is believed that too narrow an interpretation


19RO 'HFHPEHUGpFHPEUHGLFLHPEUH

of confidentiality has resulted in children be- tween two agencies over and above the con-
ing left unprotected. Quandaries also arise duct of a joint interview of child victims. But
where information obtained and shared for implementing procedures should be agreed
therapeutic reasons could result in criminal upon for joint inter-agency investigations to
proceedings, an option which medical profes- ensure adequate planning and full consultation
sionals may be apprehensive about getting in- at all stages of any investigation.
volved with. Although there are differing
views, with varying goals, most professional As CASA/GAL has already been launched, we
codes of confidentiality allow disclosure of anticipate birth pains between these guardians
information without consent where there is and other professionals. Since guarding the
believed to be danger to others, as is certainly children is intended to protect all Filipino
the case in child abuse. Maintaining confiden- children, the program should be replicated in
tiality, in most circumstances, can amount to all Family Courts throughout the country,
maintaining the secrecy, and thus the cycle, of even the world over. We share in the vision
child abuse. and trials of Judge Nimfa Vilches as her pro-
gram is foreseen to henceforth benefit human-
Likewise, we foresee the dilemma of getting ity. We need judges like her in our Supreme
prosecution and defence counsels to reach a Court as she reigns supreme in the hearts of
mutual agreement on matters beneficial to the our children.
child victim or child offender. These difficul-
ties are minimized by selection of specialist
staff who undergo appropriate inter-agency 7KLV DUWLFOH ILUVW DSSHDUHG LQ WKH 0DQLOD7LPHV RQ-XO\
  , DP JUDWHIXO WR WKH (GLWRU IRU SHUPLVVLRQ WR
UHSURGXFHLWKHUH:*0F&
training, simultaneously discussing mutual
problems and expanding their network in
building confidence and trust among the dif-
ferent professionals. It is essential that meth-
ods of mutual cooperation are established be-

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

WHAT ABOUT THE GIRLS?

SION, SWITZERLAND
01-05 October, 2002
CONTACT

Institut International des Droits de l’Enfant (IDE)

Tel : (+41) 27-203.73.83; Fax : (+41) 27-203.73.84; Email : LGH#LXNEFK


Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch (IUKB), Case postale 4176, CH-1950 Sion 4 - Switzerland.

<$281'(6(0,1$5&$0(5221


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19RO 'HFHPEHUGpFHPEUHGLFLHPEUH

THE VEILLARD-CYBULSKI AWARD 2002

The Veillard-Cybulski Fund Association aims to reward deserving works, particularly those which
make a new contribution towards perfecting methods of treatment for children and adolescents in
difficulties and their families.

To achieve this objective the Association has established a Veillard-Cybulski Award.

Rules (summary)

• The award is made every four years, on the occasion of the quadrennial Congress of the Interna-
tional Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM).
• Candidates must submit four copies of their work in English, French or Spanish, together with a
summary of not more than ten pages, to the address of the Association.
• The next award will be made in 2002. The deadline for submission of works will be 31 October
2001. Papers will not be returned.
• The prize winner receives an award of 10,000 (ten thousand) Swiss Francs. The amount of the
second prize, where appropriate, will be decided by the VCFA Committee. Where two winners
are classed ex aequo, they share the award. There will be no addition to the total amount of the
prize.

PLEASE NOTE: APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE WORLD CONGRESS

IN MELBOURNE, OCTOBER 26-31, 2002

ASSOCIATION FONDS VEILLARD-CYBULSKI

c/o Institut International des Droits de l’Enfant (IDE)


Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch (IUKB), Case postale 4176, CH-1950 Sion 4 - Switzerland.
Tel : (+41) 27-203.73.83; Fax : (+41) 27-203.73.84. Email : ide@iukb.ch


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INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF

YOUTH AND FAMILY JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES.

XVI WORLD CONGRESS

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Oct 26 – 31, 2002

FORGING THE LINKS

This congress is an historic event in Australian and New Zealand judicial history. Under the auspices
of the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates the Congress is being
co-hosted and sponsored by the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Magistrates’ Service (Austra-
lia), the Children’s Court of Victoria (Australia), the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (Australia), the
Family Court of New Zealand and the Youth Court of New Zealand.

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INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF

YOUTH AND FAMILY JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES.

XVI WORLD CONGRESS

MELBOURNE

October 26 – 31, 2002

THEME : )25*,1*7+(/,1.6

A Congress for:
Judges and Magistrates; Legal Professionals; Legislators;
Government Organisations; Psyhciatrists/Psychologists; Social Scientists;
Academics; Human Rights Advocates; Educators;
Church, Welfare and Youth Agencies; Community Groups; Police;

Simultaneous Translation: English, French, Spanish

For further information contact

Danny Sandor

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Articles for the Chronicle should be sent directly to

Dr Willie McCarney,

Editor-in-Chief,

“St. Martin” , 175, Andersonstown Rd., Belfast. BT11 9EA


N Ireland.

Tel : +44 28 9061 5164; Fax : +44 28 9061 8374;


E-mail : willie@wmccarney.freeserve.co.uk

Articles should be typed.


Copies in our three working languages
(English, French and Spanish)
would be appreciated.

Alternatively, articles may be directed to any member of the Editorial Panel.


Names and addresses are given below, together with telephone and fax numbers,
where available.

Justice Lucien Beaulieu, Mónica Vazquez Larsson, Prof. Jean Trepanier,


The Courthouse, San Jorge Village École de criminologie,
361, University Ave., 1613 Los Polvorines Université de Montréal,
Toronto, Ontario Argentina C.P. 6128,
M5G 1T3. Canada. Tel : 54 11 46632342 Succursale Centre-Ville,
Tel : 1 416 - 327 - 5284 Fax : 54 11 46630380 Montréal, Québec,
Fax : 1 416 - 327 - 5417 E-mail address : H3C 3P8, Canada.
E-mail address : larsson@satlink.com Tel: 1 514 346 61 11
lbeaulieu@judicom.gc.ca E-mail address :
trepanje@ERE.UMontreal.CA

Jacob J. van der Goes M. Yves Lernout, Sr. Jorge Abel Zaldarriaga,
Molenstraat 15, 14bis rue Noël Biret Cochambamba 554,
4851 SG Ulvenhout, 84000 Avignon, France 2000, Rosario, Argentina.
Holland. Tel/Fax : 33 4 90 86 24 95 Tel : 54 341 482 8173
Tel/Fax : 31 76 5612640 Fax : 54 341 449 2333
E-mail address :
j.vandergoes@tip.nl