The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) has produced new guidance for practitioners representing children in the youth justice system. The materials are intended to help barristers comply with the Bar Standards Board’s recently published ‘Youth Proceedings Competences’.
The new ICCA guidance has been developed in collaboration with the Youth Justice Legal Centre, Just for Kids Law, the Bar Standards Board and the Criminal Bar Association. The guides recognise that children and young people who come into contact with the youth justice system are generally amongst the most disadvantaged in society, many suffering from a range of acute and complex vulnerabilities. The ICCA emphasise that youth justice work is a specialism and that representation of children, whether in the youth court or the crown court, is an area of practice which requires considerable skill and expertise.
The guides are intended to help barristers comply with the Bar Standards Board’s recently published ‘Youth Proceedings Competences’. The Competences set out essential requirements that are expected of all advocates working with children as part of a phased introduction to increased regulation in this area.
The new guides cover the following areas:
- First hearings in the youth court
- Bail and remand
- Anonymity and reporting restrictions
- Sentencing of young offenders
- Application for Certificate of Assigned Advocate
The ICCA has also produced an engaging and compelling film about Communicating Effectively with Children and addresses communication and engagement with children in the criminal justice system.which addresses communication and engagement with children in the youth justice system. The film aims to give practitioners more insight into the complex needs of young clients; provide guidance on how to obtain valuable information from them; and empower practitioners to effectively advise children in such a way as to enable them to engage fully with the process and to understand what is happening to them.
The ICCA notes that the guidance currently provided is only the tip of the iceberg. Their website provides a list of further recommended reading and encourages any practitioner practising in this area of work to undertake advanced training, such as that provided by the Youth Justice Legal Centre.
The Youth Justice Legal Centre warmly welcomes the ICCA’s recognition that youth justice work is a specialist area and its commitment to equipping advocates with the knowledge and skills to provide excellent representation for the vulnerable children who come into contact with the youth justice system.
Visit the ICCA’s Youth Justice Advocacy pages.
Read the YJLC update on the Bar Standards Board’s ‘Youth Proceedings Competences’.