The author reflects upon images of children underlying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which affect how children are heard in the legal process. First these images are considered in relation to the best interests model operating in the Family Court, and second, in relation to direct models operating in the criminal and child protection jurisdictions in New South Wales. The third part analyses how the models enhance children's participation and agency. The author concludes that while best interests models sacrifice agency for protection, the context in which direct models of representation are developed is all important to their success in enhancing children's agency.
Australian Journal of Family Law Vol. 19, no. 2, p. 94-111