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When police interrogates juvenile suspects -Towards a children's rights approach

Friday, 24 November, 2017 - 09:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
VUB, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene
Building D, Alois Gerlo Hall, Room D2.01 (Promotiezaal)
CRiS, Youth Justice Studies (VUB)
02/629 39 13
International seminar

Organisation: Prof. Els Dumortier & Prof. Sofie De Kimpe (Research Group Crime & Society, Youth Justice Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Police interrogations are at the starting point of each judicial procedure against juvenile suspects. However, as contrasted with the subsequent procedures before a specialised juvenile court, only few child specific procedures, rights and guarantees are foreseen during police interrogations. Only when the child is a victim of (sexual) offences, special procedures and rights are implemented and this in order to take into account the child’s vulnerability and to avoid false testimonies. Taking into account the child friendly procedures for juveniles on the level of the judge and also the special procedures for children who are victim of (sexual) assaults, the question arises whether, why and how such child specific procedures and rights can be implemented for juvenile suspects on the level of the police. What rights should be foreseen? How can their actual implementation be controlled for? Can the recent EU Directive on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects in criminal proceedings (2016/800) bring any fundamental change in police interrogation practices? And is a children’s rights approach during police interrogations actually compatible with police culture and tasks?

In this international seminar these questions will be analysed and discussed, not only from a judicial-children’s rights approach, but also from a more sociological, psychological and empirical perspective with a focus on the daily practice of police interrogations and how and why (children’s) rights (do not) shape these practices.



09h00: Coffee & registration

09h30: Truth or rights? Introduction in the theme

Prof. Dr. Els Dumortier & Prof. Dr. Sofie De Kimpe, Research Group Crime & Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium 

10h00: The interrogation game in action

Camille Claeys, Research Group Crime & Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

10h45: Coffee break

11h00: Juvenile suspects in the police interview: vulnerable or suspect?

Prof. Dr. Miet Vanderhallen, University of Antwerp, University of Maastricht

11h30: (working title)

Dr. Jioty Belur, UCL (London), Dept. of Security and Crime Science

12h00: Discussion

Discussant: Prof. Dr. Jenneke Christiaens, Research Group Crime & Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

12h20: Debate with speakers & public

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Sofie De Kimpe, Research Group Crime & Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

13h00: Lunch with sandwiches, coffee & drinks

14h00: End


Price: 30€
(Free for students + members of the VUB Department of Criminology)

Registration is required before 17 November 2017.

Only online payments are accepted (no invoices will be sent by the VUB for this event due to art. 44 § 2,4° of the VAT code).
You will receive a payment confirmation email when successfully paid online.