Lucie Ducarre is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law (UiB). Her project focuses on autistic children’s best interests and child welfare services. The aim is to study how child welfare services, especially child protection, consider and assess the best interests of autistic children in two modern welfare states, Norway and France. The project builds on the Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), as interpreted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (General comments no14, 2013) to research the specific questions raised when examining autistic children’s best interests. The degree in which relevant national legislation and administrative/judicial decisions apply the principle of the child’s best interests with regards to autistic children will then be examined.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, recognized as a disability both in Norway and in France. Autistic people also growingly identify as a minority, through the concept of neurodiversity, and partly in reaction to the widespread oppression they have – and sometimes still – experienced. To capture these different dimensions, the project adopts a socio-legal approach and uses legal and political theories on power, ethnocentrism, and individual rights.