Increasing of the role of the UNO International Court in protection of children’s rights – this was the principal theme of the 8th Conference of Chief Justices of Supreme Courts of the World which took place in December 2007 in Laknov, India. Chairman of the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court Ivars Bičkovičs participated in the Conference as the authorized representative of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia.

Law standards and situation regarding protection of children’s rights in Europe, including Latvia, differs radically from the situation in the countries in Africa, for example. The emphasis of the speakers and the resolution adopted at the end of the conference was the appeal to draw public attention to the situation and rights of children in particular in the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. “However, such global issues as peace, cross-border terrorism or preservation of ecologically clean environment are topical everywhere – both in highly developed and democratic countries in Europe and North America and poor developing countries”, admits I. Bičkovičs.

The work of the Conference was organized in several blocks of themes. In the workshops of judiciary each participant in a 5 – 10 minute speech expressed the stance of the respective country and the represented court regarding the theme of the conference, and namely – competence of the International Court in securing of children’s rights. At the end of the Conference, representatives of the world’s Supreme Courts adopted a joint resolution by which it calls on the governments, parliaments and courts of the UNO member states to pay heightened attention to ensuring of children’s rights, including the right to live in an ecologically clean environment, in peace. The UNO General Assembly was asked to deal with the issue on extension of authority of the International Court in the field of ensuring and protecting children’s rights.

The principal theme of the conferences which have been organized by the school of the Montessori City (the school is listed in the Guinness Records Book as the biggest school having about 32 000 students) for eight years already is protection and advancement of children’s rights in the world. The large-scale event brings together not only representatives of the Supreme Courts of the world, but also representatives of various organizations protecting peace and children’s rights, scientific and educational, as well as non-governmental organizations and foundations. In total, 263 participants from 92 countries were officially invited to take part in this Conference.

The International Court which was established in 1946 in Hague is the chief juridical institution in the United Nations Organization (UNO). All the UNO member states are participants of the Court charter. The International Court reviews interstate disputes and provides also consultative opinions to UNO and its specialized agencies. Rulings of the International Court are binding for the countries involved in the specific court proceedings, its charter is subject to the UNO Charter.


Information prepared by Division of Communications of the Supreme Court

Author: Rasma Zvejniece, Manager of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court

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