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The rights and voice of children in justice proceedings (Advert Reference: SF19/BL/LAW/ARTHUR)

  • Full or part time
    Prof R Arthur
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The focus of this PhD will be on how children’s rights and children’s voices are being protected and heard in justice (criminal, civil, administrative) proceedings. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child champions children’s participatory rights, emphasising in particular the need to involve children and ensure that there are effective, child-sensitive procedures available to children and their representatives. Article 12 of the UN Convention protects the child’s right to have their voice heard and taken into account in all decision-making in particular in judicial and administrative proceedings. Similarly, the Council of Europe Guidelines on Child Friendly Justice require children to be viewed as active participants in justice proceedings.

This PhD invites candidates to explore and analyse the theory and practice of children and young people’s participation, empowerment and engagement in justice proceedings. Candidates who have the aspiration and ability to advance knowledge and understanding in this area through theoretically-informed empirical research are especially encouraged. The candidate might approach this project from the perspective of a range of disciplines and fields of study, including socio-legal studies, international human rights scholarship, criminology, sociology of deviance and social control, policy studies and adjacent fields of study. Examples of projects could involve an analysis of perspectives and experiences of young people’s participation in justice proceedings, young people’s own understandings and expressions of meaningful participation, explorations of participation and empowerment for marginalised groups of young people, a socio-legal analysis of the interplay between participation, agency and behavioural change.

This project is supervised by Prof Raymond Arthur.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Arthur, R. (2019) Regulating youth sexuality, agency and citizenship: developing a coherent criminal justice response to youth sexting King’s Law Journal 30, 3

Arthur, R, Down, L. (2019) Preventing the criminalisation of children who have been victims of group based sexual exploitation involving grooming tactics – understanding child sexual exploitation as enslavement Journal of Criminal Law 83, 5, 370-380.

Arthur, R. ‘Giving effect to young people’s right to participate effectively in criminal proceedings’, Child and Family Law Quarterly (2016) 28, 3, 223-238

Arthur, R. ‘The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 – Secure Colleges and the Legitimation of State Sponsored Violence’, Modern Law Review (2016) 79, 1, pp. 102-121

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