Jo Cecil of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has won the Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) Rising Star Award.
Jo received the award at the Youth Justice Summit 2018.
YJLC have commented:
Jo Cecil is a hard working junior barrister at Garden Court Chambers, known for her expertise representing child defendants, who has somehow found time to be involved in most, if not all, significant strategic litigation concerning youth justice in recent years.
She is a passionate defender of criminal legal aid and campaigner to raise the status of youth justice work.
To give just a few highlights from her short, yet impressive, career. She was instructed by the EU, Council of Europe in the US case of Roper v. Simmons, in which the US Supreme Court ruled the Juvenile death penalty unconstitutional. In the UK, she has carved out a niche for herself in this highly specialist field. She was junior counsel in the case of Hughes Cousins-Chang, which challenged the anomalous position for 17 year olds at the police station and in OP challenging the lack of provision of registered intermediaries for defendants. She was an irreplaceable member of Just for Kids' Law legal team in the Supreme Court case of Jogee leading to a redefining of the law of joint enterprise.
She has often acted pro bono but is always unstinting in her efforts; travelling to visit clients in prison; drafting powerful and persuasive pleadings; always driven; always determined. Most recently she acted for a child appellant in the Court of Appeal seeking to challenge his murder conviction and is now preparing to take a challenge to the European Court of Human Rights.
Jo Cecil was also shortlisted for the Legal 500 Crime Junior of the Year 2018. She is recommended as a leading junior in the Legal 500 2017, described as "the go-to junior for criminal cases with human rights issues, particularly ones involving vulnerable defendants" (Legal 500 UK 2017).