The Youth Justice Legal Centre is part of Just for Kids Law.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has recently published a second report on the drug distribution model known as ‘county lines’ (County Lines Gang Violence, Exploitation & Drug Supply 2016 (November 2016)). Gangs recruit vulnerable people, often children, to act as couriers and to sell drugs. The report identifies the exposure to harm children may face from these gangs and encourages authorities to safeguard rather than prosecute affected children.
By Ita Farrelly, Partner, Taylor Haldane Barlex Solicitors LLP
The 10 Point Checklist is a key tool in ensuring decisions to prosecute Looked After Children who offend in children’s homes are properly considered, Ita Farrelly shares her experience that lack of awareness of this guidance means Looked After Children are being unnecessarily prosecuted.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides a statutory defence for victims of child trafficking and slavery accused of certain offences.
The Justices’ Clerks Society (JCS) has issued guidance to all its members which states that children should not be issued with a summons or warrant to secure their attendance at court for non-payment of fines. Details This guidance follows a legal challenge taken by lawyers from The Howard League for Penal Reform against two magistrates’
The Reinforcing Assistance to Child Victims of Trafficking (ReACT) project has published a report ‘Better Support, Better Protection’ – Steps Lawyers and Guardians can take to better protect trafficked children’. This report examines the extent to which children who may have been involved in trafficking, were identified and protected in five EU states. The report highlights the fact that lawyers and others working with children do not always have the requisite training to identify those who may be subject to trafficking.
The College of Policing have published guidance for police on the use of stop and search. This has been published alongside an announcement that evidence-based training will be rolled out nationally for officers. The guidance acknowledges that children may be more likely to find the experience of stop and search traumatic.
The Law Society has announced the development of a Youth Court Advocacy training course in partnership with the Youth Justice Legal Centre.
The Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (SRA) has developed a toolkit to support solicitors practising in the Youth Court. The SRA recognise that additional help is needed for those working in the youth court, ‘this is a really important part of the justice system, one that comes with its own unique challenges and demands.’
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