The Lawyer and Unicef launch award

LAWYERS who stand up for the rights of children are to be recognised by the first-ever Child Rights Lawyer Award, presented jointly by Unicef and The Lawyer.

The award marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It will be presented to the solicitor or barrister judged to have contributed the most to making one of the rights in the convention a reality for children.

The convention is the most widely-accepted human rights instrument and includes guarantees to respect family life and a fair trial.

The judges include: Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Office; Sir John Waite, Unicef (UK) chairman and a former High Court Family Division judge; child rights barrister David Hershman of St Philip's Chambers in Birmingham; and Andrew MacFarlane QC of One King's Bench Walk.

The award will be presented at the Law Society 's Chancery Lane headquarters on 16 November.

Hershman, a well-known children's law barrister , says: “This is a difficult and sensitive area of law.

“The lawyer has to strike a balance between the rights of the child and the best interests of that child. This award will be seen as a great mark of achievement.”

The Lawyer editor Sean Brierley says: “The Lawyer is proud to offer this award with Unicef in recognition of the tremendous contribution that lawyers make.”