Christian Whalen is a native of Fredericton and holds a bachelor of arts degree (1987) from Carleton University; a bachelor of law degree (1989) from the University of New Brunswick; and a diplôme d’études approfondies (1993) from l’Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, France. Following his call to the bar in Ontario and New Brunswick, Mr. Whalen worked as a lawyer in private practice and as legal counsel to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission before joining the Office of the Ombudsman in 2005 as legal counsel. He has been responsible for systemic investigations and acted as lead investigator on several reports of the Office of Ombudsman and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, including Connecting the Dots, Hand-in-Hand and Staying Connected. He was also the project lead on the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate’s annual State of our Children and Youth reports and a lead developer of the Children’s Rights and Well-being Framework. He served as Acting Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick from April 1, 2011 to August 1, 2013. He founded and serves as secretary to the Working Group on Children’s rights in the Francophonie and is founding chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Sections Council Committee on Children’s Law. He is the New Brunswick site lead and a principal applicant in the ACCESS Open Minds grant, a $25 million SPOR initiative of CIHR to transform mental health services to young Canadians. In 2014 he received the Children’s Rights Champion Award from the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children and in 2015 was awarded the John Tait Award for distinguished service as public sector counsel by the Canadian Bar Association.
Listen to Christian Whalen, interviewed on the relation between children and judicial system.