Youth Justice Summit 2019: Children in the Criminal Courts

Date: Friday 17 May 2019
Time: 9:30 – 16:30 (9:00 registration)
Location: Strand Campus, King’s College London, WC2R 2ND
Refreshments: Working lunch
Reception: Followed by a drinks reception hosted by Garden Court Chambers
CPD: 6 hours
Cost: Pupil barristers, trainee solicitors and students £75, Legal aid criminal lawyers, voluntary sector & youth offending teams £125, Academics, professionals and private law firms £225
Sponsors: The Dickson Poon School of Law King's College London, Powell Spencer & Partners, Allen & Overy LLP, Inns of Court College of Advocacy, Mishcon de Reya LLP, Kingsley Napley LLP, Doughty Street Chambers, One Pump Court Chambers, The Criminal Bar Association, Garden Court Chambers, BSB Solicitors, GT Stewart, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors and The Bar Council

About the event

The Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) would like to invite you to the third Youth Justice Summit on 17 May 2019. The The Youth Justice Summit brings together experts in youth justice to share knowledge and expertise on youth justice legal issues. We are building a community of specialist youth justice lawyers to ensure children who come into contact with the criminal justice system are represented by lawyers who have specialist knowledge of youth justice law. The Summit is delivered in association with The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.

YJLC believes children deserve to be represented by lawyers with expertise in youth justice law.

Who can attend?

  • Barristers, solicitors, legal executives and accredited police station representatives
  • Judges, magistrates, legal advisers and prosecutors
  • Youth offending teams, academics and professionals who work with children and young people in the criminal justice system

Our Summit 2018 was a great success. Below are comments from 2018 delegates, which give a sense of the value and importance of this event. We are planning an equally thought-provoking programme this year.

97% of attendees who gave feedback would recommend the Summit to others.

Director of the YJLC and barrister Kate Aubrey-Johnson says:

‘Lawyers specialising in youth justice work rarely get the recognition they deserve. We hope the Youth Justice Summit will start to change that. Most young defendants are acutely vulnerable, with communication and other difficulties. An expert lawyer can make the world of difference to the outcome of a case and a child’s future prospects. This event will allow practitioners to share their expertise and knowledge, and be part of a movement towards raising standards in youth justice work. We think every child deserves the best possible legal representation.’

Keynote Speakers

Image of Prof. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Prof. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore Professor of Neuroscience at University College London
Image of Prof. David Ormerod QC
Prof. David Ormerod QC Deputy High Court Judge for England and Wales
Image of Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen FBA FBPsS
Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen FBA FBPsS Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge and Director of Autism Research Centre (ARC)

Workshops and panel discussions

Thematic keynotes

Child & adolescent brain development

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Thinking about children in criminal law reform

Professor David Ormerod QC

Representing defendants with autism: case studies, research and working with experts

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen FBA FBPsS


No child in cells – Reducing custodial remand of children

Mital Raithatha (chair), Caoifhlionn Gallagher QC, Sinead MacCann, Penelope Gibbs and Mel Stooks

What are the issues that lead to children being held in custody at the police station or spending long periods on custodial remand? We know this increases the likelihood they are refused bail at court. With over half the children on custodial remand from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, reducing the use of custodial remand for children is a pressing issue. Given that the majority of children (63%) given a custodial remand do not subsequently receive a custodial outcome, what can be done to reduce the use of custodial remand? Understand the duties are owed to children and how legal representatives can ensure child defendants are provided with suitable bail addresses by local authorities where needed.

Turning 18 – the relevance of becoming an “adult” in the criminal justice system 

Laura Janes (chair), Katya Moran and David Emanuel QC

Children who turn 18 during the criminal justice process are treated as adults and are required to go to adult courts, adult prisons and receive adult sentences. There are approximately 2,500 children who turn 18 between committing an offence and being sentenced, with long delays during the police investigation stage, is this contributing to more 17 year olds being sentenced as adults? What can legal representatives do to reduce the risk of injustice? How can systemic issues be addressed?

Psychologist, psychiatrist, intermediary – instructing the right expert

Aika Stephenson (chair), Dr Sinead Marriot, Clare Parkinson

As many as 60-90% of children defendants will have significant language and communication difficulties (compared to 5-7% of children in the general population). How can we ensure the right expert is instructed and provides expert guidance for the legal representatives and the court.

How to prevent the unnecessary criminalisation of children: Diversion and the decision to prosecute 

Laura Cooper (chair), Greg Stewart, Florence Cole and Alex Temple

How to prevent unnecessary criminalisation of children? There is a presumption in favour of diverting children wherever possible – how do we ensure this happens in practice. How to ensure decision makers consider relevant background information, the wider duties owed to children and diversionary schemes available. Too often children who are in the youth justice system have been excluded from school, how might this be relevant to the decision maker and how to support children accessing education. Where necessary, learn how to challenge decisions to prosecute.

Criminal records – what next after the Supreme Court judgment?

Jennifer Twite (chair), Claire Sands and Chris Stacey

In light of the landmark judgment in R (on the application of P, G and W) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants) [2019] UKSC 3, what next for criminal records regime? How will this affect child suspects and defendants?

Panel Discussions

Children, neurodevelopmental issues and the criminal courts 

Shauneen Lambe (chair), Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Brenda Campbell QC, Maya Sikand and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Child Terrorist – An Oxymoron? How the criminal courts treat child victims of trafficking and exploitation

Joanne Cecil (chair), Hossein Zahir QC, Michelle Brewer and Christine Beddoe 

Ensuring children effectively participate in criminal cases

Lynda Gibbs (chair), HHJ Dafna Spiro, DJMC Naomi Redhouse and Garry Green




What others are saying

"I cannot see how it could be improved. I've been schlepping to these things for 20 years and this one actually felt meaningful and that there are those who really care and go above and beyond to the benefit of us all. They should get far more recognition and reward than they do. So heartening to be in their presence. Whilst the situation faced is so awful, the world is a much better place for such people. A massive thank you to you all." Attendee, 2018
"It was extremely well run and included a high calibre of speakers and delegates." Attendee, 2018
"I just wanted to say that I thought today was brilliant. It was informative, thought provoking and such a diverse range of speakers. This is by far the most interesting and rewarding work I am doing." Attendee, 2017
"I have no concept of what it must have taken to pull it all together and to attract such distinguished speakers (and I don't include myself in this ! ) . It ran seamlessly and I have no doubt that everyone who attended both enjoyed it and learnt a great deal. I certainly did both." Speaker, 2017

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