Researcher in Focus: Dr Aoife Daly

Posted on: 15 February 2018 by Nick Jones in 2018 Posts

Aoife Daly headshot
Aoife Daly, Senior Lecturer at the School of Law

Meet this month’s researcher in focus, Dr Aoife Daly, Senior Lecturer at the School of Law of the University of Liverpool, and find more about her recent research projects.

Aoife has been with the School of Law and Social Justice since 2014, specialising in children’s rights, human rights more broadly, and family law. She has a background in both law and psychology and has taught at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the University of Essex Human Rights Centre, and before academia worked for NGOs such as Save the Children and Amnesty International. She has a background in both law and psychology. She is Deputy Director of SLSJ’s European Children’s Rights Unit.

At present, Aoife is leading on a project for the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission to examine good practice examples of human rights implementation from around the globe. The report which results from this work will inform the work of the Commission, aiming to facilitate it to better work for implementation of human rights in the UK. Aoife’s University of Liverpool Co-Investigator on the project is Dr. Joshua Curtis and Dr. Yvonne McDermott from the University of Swansea is also a researcher on the project.

Aoife is also working with local NGO Kinship Care Liverpool to embed human rights-based approaches to the work of local authorities with kinship carers, a group of persons who take on the care of children of family or friends. Kinship carers are often not treated by authorities as a distinct group with problems particular to them. They often receive little if any financial or other support. The project seeks to secure a number of tangible outcomes, for example greater access to information and a Liverpool Charter for Kinship Care.

Aoife published Children, Autonomy and the Courts: Beyond the Right to be Heard (Brill, 2018) in January of this year. This book compares the distinct prioritisation of personal autonomy in areas such as medical law to the enormous paternalism in other decisions about children (such as where children will live on divorce); arguing that courts should support and prioritise children’s own choices to the extent possible – there should be a high threshold to override them. She also published A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15: The Right to Freedom of Association and to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly with Brill in 2016.

She also guest edited a 2018 special issue of the International Journal of Children's Rights on weighing children's views on matters affecting them, after organising a 2015 workshop on the same topic at the University of Liverpool. Much is said about hearing children, but little about what should be done with those views or the influence that children should have. The issue will be released in the coming weeks.

Aoife's work and research is a valuable part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science's 'Children & Childhood' research theme.