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Youth Justice & Child Rights

Garden Court Chambers has a leading reputation for championing children’s rights in the criminal justice system.

To contact the Youth Justice & Child Rights Clerks, please email crimeclerksmailbox@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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We have long been a figurehead in celebrating diversity and challenging the over-criminalisation of children from Black, Brown and Racialised groups.

Our Expertise

Our team is renowned for developing the law in relation to effective participation of children in criminal cases.

We have been at the forefront of developing protections for child victims of trafficking and criminal exploitation in the criminal courts.

As a multi-disciplinary pool of experts we draw on our expertise in criminal law, community care, housing, immigration, family and public law.

We are youth justice specialists with expertise, knowledge and understanding of the rights of child defendants in criminal cases and the importance of ensuring that children effectively participate in criminal proceedings. We recognise the disproportionate over-representation of children in the criminal justice system, in particular, children with neurodisabilities, looked after children, children from Black, Brown and Racialised groups.

Barristers from Garden Court Chambers have been involved in most of the recent leading judgments raising child rights arguments in criminal cases.

Protecting the rights of children facing criminal proceedings is fundamental to ensuring all vulnerable people receive meaningful access to justice and their right to a fair trial is upheld.

Notable Cases

TI v Bromley Youth Court [2020] EWHC 1204 (Admin)
Divisional Court clarifies the legal test for intermediaries for child defendants

R (on the application of P, G and W) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants) [2019] UKSC 3
Ruling on the criminal records regime and the disclosure of youth reprimands and youth cautions. Declaration of incompatibility. Law changed.

R v Grant-Murray and Henry; R v McGill, Hewitt and Hewitt [2017] EWCA 1228
Court of Appeal judgment on joint enterprise and trials of vulnerable defendants.

R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8
Historic joint judgment of Supreme Court and Privy Council. Joint enterprise.

R (OP) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 1944 (Admin)
Test case concerning the lack of provision of registered intermediaries for vulnerable and child defendants in criminal trials. Court held unlawful.

R (HC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 982 (Admin)
High profile landmark test case concerning the anomalous position of 17-year-olds being treated as adults when detained in police custody. Law changed.

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