Pro bono matters

Cross-border research on children’s rights

Date of publication: December 1, 2017

In 2016, PILS teamed up with The Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) to commission a piece of legal research on the impact of Brexit on children’s rights across the island of Ireland.

The Belfast-based NGO (and PILS member) the Children’s Law Centre and their counterparts the Children’s Rights Alliance were keen to assess the impact that Brexit could have on children’s rights on both sides of the border.

Through a collaboration between PILS’s Pro Bono Register and Dublin-based project PILA, law firm A&L Goodbody prepared an in-depth research paper, looking at the issue on an all-island basis.

In a comprehensive report published in December 2017, the legal analysis covered selected aspects of the fundamental legal rights of children on the island of Ireland, considered the current legislative and regulatory framework underpinning them, and explored the changes which may occur following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The paper’s authors noted that the publication placed particular emphasis on the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland.

This cross-border pro bono research project supported the advocacy work of the Children’s Law Centre and the Children’s Rights Alliance.

The work was celebrated in a 2021 VitalTalks webinar as an example of effective cross-border partnerships, described by CLC Director Paddy Kelly as “…a very influential and impactful intervention…”.