Tag: Effective participation
Court of Appeal ruling on fitness to plead
R v Cooley  EWCA Crim 2648 A Court of Appeal judgment confirms the difficulty of getting a guilty plea set aside on the grounds that the appellant was unfit to plead. Details The appellant had, at age 19, committed various sexual offences against younger children. The offences generally involved the inappropriate touching of children the […]
A note on the age of criminal responsibility
Age of Criminal Responsibility, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), June 2018 The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology have published a note which considers whether the current age of criminal responsibility is appropriate by exploring international legal standards, scientific research on mental and moral development and alternative approaches to dealing with children in conflict […]
Court of Appeal judgment on joint enterprise and trials of vulnerable defendants
R v Grant-Murray and Henry; R v McGill, Hewitt and Hewitt  EWCA 1228 Five defendants, in two joined applications to appeal, challenged their convictions for joint enterprise murder. The appeals also raised issues as to how young or vulnerable defendants are dealt with by the court. Whilst the applications to appeal were all dismissed, the court made important comments on the training of practitioners representing children and vulnerable defendants in the criminal courts.
Inns College produce guidance and film for barristers representing children in criminal courts
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’.
New judicial guidance for use of video links for child defendants
The amended Criminal Practice Directions 2015 give guidance to the courts and users about how to effectively and appropriately make use of live links and telephone facilities. The new section 3N contains guidance on how and when live links should be used for hearings and provides specific guidance for defendants aged under 18. The third amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2015 came into force on 31 January 2017.
CBA call for evidence: failure to appoint intermediaries
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) has expressed concern about the amendments to the Criminal Practice Direction in relation to intermediaries. It has requested practitioners to share their experience of defendants who have been badly disadvantaged by the Court’s failure to appoint an intermediary.
Amended Criminal Practice Directions – changes relating to intermediaries
The amended Criminal Practice Directions 2015 (in force on 4 April 2016) contains a revised practice direction on the appointment and use of intermediaries during criminal trials. The new practice direction has attracted criticism because it suggests intermediaries for defendants will be 'rare'.
Law Commission Unfitness to Plead report
On 13th January 2016 the Law Commission published a report into unfitness to plead following a consultation. The report makes recommendations for reform of the whole unfitness to plead framework, and makes specific recommendations in relation to children and young people.
Supporting young people with neurodevelopmental impairment
This research by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies highlights the high proportion of children in the criminal justice system with brain injuries and impairments. The report calls for health, education and family based interventions to prevent the unecessary criminalisation of children with neurodevelopmental impairment.
Unfitness and Jurisdiction in the Youth Court
R (on the application of TP) v Derby Youth Court  EWHC 573 (Admin) A youth court wrongly committed a 13-year-old offender who had been found unfit to plead to the Crown Court for trial.