Turning 18

The impact of turning 18 during the criminal justice process can be devastating. Those affected have offended as children but are unable to benefit from the legal protections afforded to children. The cause of the problem is often system delay and the delays arising out of the coronavirus pandemic mean this is likely to be a growing problem. In this seminar discussing our legal guide on Turning 18, you'll hear from leading youth justice experts on how to navigate the different rules, regimes and principles that apply to those who are turning 18 in the criminal justice system, as well as finding out more about the inequities which arise for those who have committed offences as children but have turned 18 before being cautioned or prosecuted.

Remote video URL

This seminar took place on 24 June 2020. For more detailed practical advice and information, check out our full legal guide on Turning 18.


Mr Justice William Davis

Mr Justice William Davis practised at the Bar in Birmingham for over 30 years (10 years as QC) before becoming a Senior Circuit Judge in Birmingham in 2009. He was appointed to the High Court Bench in 2014. In the same year he was appointed Judicial Lead for Youth Justice in England and Wales. Until 2019 he was the Director of Criminal Training for the Judicial College and a Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit.

Dr Enys Delmage
Consultant in Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry

Enys is a Consultant in adolescent forensic psychiatry currently working in New Zealand. He has a special interest in children and the law, both civil and criminal, and has written a number of articles and book chapters related to the topic.

David Emanuel QC
Garden Court Chambers

David is a criminal defence barrister. He often appears in high profile cases and is instructed in all types of serious crime. He is a specialist in advising on criminal appeals and is a regular in the Court of Appeal. He has a particular interest in the way the courts deal with young people who have only just crossed into adulthood. He appeared in R v Balogun, a ground-breaking case in this area.

Dr Laura Janes
The Howard League for Penal Reform

Laura is a solicitor with higher rights and Legal Director at the Howard League for Penal Reform. Laura has developed an expertise in advising and representing children and young people in penal detention in relation to prison law, public law and criminal appeal matters. Laura has published a significant body of work on those who transition to adulthood within the criminal justice system and offers exceptional knowledge on the sentencing of children and young adults.

Claire Mawer
15 New Bridge Street Chambers

Claire is a criminal defence barrister and the co-author of YJLC’s Turning 18 legal guide. Alongside a broad general criminal practice Claire specialises in representing children and young adults facing serious criminal allegations in the youth court, crown court and at appellate level. Claire is currently instructed by the Youth Justice Legal Centre in appeals against sentence before the Court of Appeal dealing with many of the pertinent issues that young adults face at sentence, including the impact of turning 18 after conviction and offending caused by delayed maturational development.

Katya Moran (Chair)
Youth Justice Legal Centre

Katya is a solicitor who has specialised in representing children in criminal proceedings. Katya co-runs the Youth Justice Legal Centre and maintains a busy independent practice representing children in the police station and youth court. Katya has led the Timely Justice: Turning 18 project and offers expertise on the issues faced by those who offend as children but are prosecuted as adults.