Criminal Behaviour Orders

In this seminar discussing our legal guide on Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs), find out how CBOs work for child defendants with an overview of the application process, key principles, terms of the order, reporting restrictions, variation/discharge of orders as well as appeals and breaches from leading youth justice experts.

Remote video URL

This seminar took place on 4th February 2021. For more detailed practical advice and information, check out our full legal guide on Criminal Behaviour Orders.


Mel Stooks
Head of the Youth Crime Team at GT Stewart Solicitors

Mel is a solicitor who has specialised in youth justice work throughout her legal career. Mel leads the youth crime team at GT Stewart Solicitors, is an experienced trial advocate in the youth court and has considerable experience defending young clients charged with GBH, rape and armed robbery and murder. Mel co-founded the Youth Practitioners Association (YPA) and was a member of The Rook Committee that produced the Advocacy and Vulnerable Witness Training provided by Inns of Court and The Law Society. She provides training in youth justice to other professionals as well as training for Appropriate Adults who may be required to attend the police station.

Mel has considerable experience representing children who are the subject of an application for a CBO and has had high levels of success in challenging these in the youth court and on appeal. She co-authored our joint legal guide on CBOs.

Liz Westlund
Head of Innovation and Engagement for London at the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales

Liz is Head of London at the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. She oversees justice services for children and young people in the capital, ensuring that YOT services are monitored and improved and providing robust challenge and support to areas in need of improvement. Liz is also the YJB’s lead for writing and reviewing the Case Management Guidance; practical guidance for practitioners, managers and stakeholders from all sectors of the youth justice system.

Prior to joining the YJB, Liz led Camden YOT to gaining London’s only ‘Outstanding’ inspection rating, actually achieving the highest scores in the country in the process. She was particularly proud of the feedback from the lead inspector that whilst many teams talk about ‘a child centred ethos’, Camden actually achieved this. Whilst at the YJB, Liz volunteered for a secondment to Islington YOT where she had direct experience of managing and challenging Criminal Behaviour Orders, and the earlier Anti-Social Behaviour Orders before that. She has also been key in formulating the YJB’s strategic responses to the use of civil measures, including the new Knife Crime Prevention Orders. Her Case Management Guidance includes a section on these sorts of orders, and advice for practitioners on these.

Joel Bennathan QC
Criminal Law and Appeals barrister at Doughty Street Chambers

Joel leads the Criminal Law and Appeals team at Doughty Street Chambers. He has an established defence practice in serious crime and complex crime and offers a wealth of experience in trials and appeals that include child defendants. A significant part of his work consists of appeals to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Privy Council, and the European Court of Human Rights. He also co-authored the Criminal Appeals Handbook.

Kusai Rahal
Head of Youth Support at The 4Front Project

Kusai is the Head of Youth Support at The 4Front Project, a member-led youth organisation empowering young people and communities to fight for justice, peace and freedom. His work aims to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of members and help break down the barriers that they face in society, including within the criminal justice and education systems.

Kusai has significant experience working directly with children and young people affected by violence and the criminal justice system. He and the 4Front Project have successfully challenged Criminal Behaviour Orders in criminal justice settings. His work also focuses on supporting young men to mentalise and develop their emotional capacity to process adversity and trauma. His unique experience enables him to provide real insight into the impact of these orders on children’s lives.

Laura Cooper (Chair)
Co-Head of the Youth Justice Legal Centre

Laura co-runs the Youth Justice Legal Centre at Just for Kids Law. She is a specialist youth justice lawyer with several years’ experience representing children in criminal courts. Laura oversees YJLC national advice line, writes best practice legal guides on youth justice issues and regularly delivers lectures and training on youth justice.