‘In All Actions Concerning Children’?

Best Interests of the Child in the Case Law of the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Milka SormunenFaculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Finland,

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Best interests of the child safeguarded by Article 3(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (crc) have to be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children. This article evaluates implementation of Article 3(1) in practice by analysing recent jurisprudence of the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. Results of the study indicate differences between case groups in considering and referring to best interests; the Supreme Administrative Court has considered best interests regularly in cases concerning aliens and child welfare, sometimes in cases related to primary education and reimbursements, and never in cases related to environmental permits. The meaning of the best interests of the child varies between case groups, and the connection to human rights often remains unclear. Best interests have been referred to more often when they have been mentioned in the applicable law or its preparatory works. The results support including a comprehensive reference to the best interests in national laws.

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