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Should Youth Justice be recognised as a specialism?

The Bar Standards Board has announced that later this year there will be compulsory registration of barristers working in the Youth Court, and in February they published their guidance document Youth Proceedings Competences. These changes are in response to the BSB and CILEx Regulation-commissioned report ‘The Youth Proceedings Advocacy Review’, which found that there is a lack of specialist training for Youth Court advocates and that advocacy was ‘highly variable’.

But what of solicitors? Is it time to recognise youth justice as a specialism?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has responded by publishing on its website ‘a specialist support package for solicitors working in youth courts’. The focus is on recognising and responding to the particular vulnerabilities of children caught up in the criminal justice system and highlights the importance of working with other agencies. The accompanying notes point out that more than 60% of young people and children in the criminal justice system have significant speech, language, and communication difficulties.

Read the full article on the Legal Voice website.

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