The Justice for Children Project engages in research and law reform while providing law students with exciting opportunities to explore the legal issues pertaining to children. [Watch a short video on the Justice for Children Project]
NEW! Certificate in Children Studies Renewed by Moritz Faculty
The Moritz College of Law Faculty has renewed the Certificate in Children Studies. The Certificate was set to expire in Spring 2010 but the faculty, by unanimous voice vote, reaffirmed its commitment to offer the Certificate to succeeding generations of law students. The faculty also removed the provision mandating an expiration date. For more information about the Certificate click here.
NEW! Justice for Children Project Files Amicus Brief Challenging Ohio's Juvenile Sex Offender Registration Laws
On March 3, 2009, the Justice for Children Project filed an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of Ohio's juvenile sex offender registration laws on behalf of the Project and seven other organizations. The brief examines recent neurological and socioscientific findings about the realities of juvenile sex offending and argues that the law violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment and the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States Constitution, as well as the Retroactivity Clause of the Ohio Constitution. On May 12, 2009, the Project filed a reply brief arguing that judicial discretion did not resolve the constitutional claims, despite the parties' contentions. The Project subsequently filed a Motion to Realign as Neutral Amici on October 21, 2009. The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral argument on this and three other cases challenging Ohio's sex offender registration laws on November 4, 2009. To watch the oral argument, click here.
Ohio First Lady To Keynote Juvenile Law Symposium
Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland will deliver the keynote address at an upcoming two-day symposium at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law centered on issues pertaining to juvenile law. First Lady Strickland will present the speech, titled “By the Want of Means for Their Cultivation,” Thursday, April 30, from 11:15 a.m. until noon at the Moritz College of Law’s Barrister Club, 25 W. 11th Ave.
First Lady Strickland is expected to discuss educational reform and how a strong educational system not only benefits the children enrolled in the program but entire communities as well.
The symposium, titled “Reinventing Juvenile Law: A New Construct for Practice and Policy,” will take place on April 30 and May 1. Discussions will focus on timely and cutting edge issues pertaining to delinquency, abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights cases. Leading experts from around the country will gather to look at reinventing juvenile law in light of developments in neurological and socioscientific research and the growing incorporation of these concepts in legislative acts and judicial decisions.
Among the topics to be discussed are scientific understandings of best interests, reinventing termination of parental rights hearings, using economic stimulus funds to improve school climate, strategies to reduce school referrals, medical-legal partnerships to improve advocacy for children, new programmatic strategies for juvenile sex offenders, and the importance of In re Gault.
To read more about the event and to register, visit http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/jfc/symposia/index.php. A few seats remain at the symposium, and the Supreme Court of Ohio has approved 12.75 hours of CLE for those attending the event.
The symposium is sponsored by the Justice for Children Project, which is a joint venture of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies. Started in 1995, the project engages in research and law reform while providing law students with exciting opportunities to explore the legal issues pertaining to children.
First Lady Strickland earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology at the University of Kentucky, where she met her husband, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. She went on to work for many years in a public school system as an educational psychologist. She also authored a screening test for kindergarten-age children and a children’s book, The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor.
First Lady Strickland serves as chair of the Family and Children First Councils, and is proactive in her work on education, the environment, renewable energy, and inclusion.
Juvenile Law Symposium to be held April 30-May 1, 2009
The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law Justice for Children Project will present a two-day symposium on juvenile law on April 30-May 1, 2009. The symposium will look at reinventing juvenile law in light of developments in neurological and socioscientific research and the growing incorporation of these concepts in legislative acts and judicial decisions. Among the topics to be discussed are changing our outdated perceptions of juvenile competency, culpability, and responsibility, ways to optimize juvenile practice, reconsidering the manner in which we try delinquency, abuse, neglect, and termination cases, the Supreme Court’s proposed standards of guardian ad litem represention, the on-going implications of the juvenile Adam Walsh Act, and caselaw and legislative updates. CLE credit will be requested.
The symposium will be at the Barrister Club, a state-of-the-art facility at the Moritz College of Law. Located in the heart of the University district in downtown Columbus, the Barrister Club is adjacent to the South Campus Gateway, an urban venue that includes markets, shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.
A limited number of scholarships from the Office of the Ohio Public Defender will be available to public defenders and pro bono counsel.
NEW! This course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 12.75 total CLE hours of instruction.
Justice for Children Project Alumni Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Congratulations to Kristen Henry (Moritz College of Law '07), who has received a fellowship to work with the Equal Justice Foundation to provide representation to the more than 3,000 juveniles incarcerated in Ohio Department of Youth Services prisons each year. Kristen's project will seek to enforce the legal rights of incarcerated juveniles under the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and to address other problems with the conditions of confinement.
Justice for Children Practicum Students Argue, Win Termination of Familial Rights Appeal
Justice for Children Practicum students Bridget Purdue and Alicia Zambelli successfully prosecuted an appeal on behalf a minor who opposed the state's attempt to terminate his relationship with father. The students filed a brief and a reply brief in the case, and presented oral argument to the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Tenth District. On April 26, 2007, the court issued an opinion sustaining the first assignment of error raised in the students' brief, vacated the judgment terminating the familial relationship, and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. Congratulations to Bridget and Alicia on a job well done!
Ohio Supreme Court Update
On March 29, 2007, the Ohio Supreme Court issued opinions in two child welfare cases, In Re D.A., 113 Ohio St.3d 88, 2007-Ohio-1105, and In Re C.F., 113 Ohio St.3d 73, 2007-Ohio-1104. The Justice for Children Project had previously submitted amicus briefs and arguments in both cases.
On December 26, 2006, Justice for Children Project staff attorney Jay Macke and Director Katherine Hunt Federle filed a joint amicus brief with the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in the Ohio Supreme Court appeal In Re: Corey Spears, No. 2006-1074. The case addresses waiver of the right to counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings and the proper interpretation of the Ohio statute governing the juvenile right to counsel.