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Kate Aubrey-Johnson and Joanne Cecil appointed by the Lord Chancellor to the Expert and Advisory Panel for the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid

Friday 29 January 2021

The Expert and Advisory Panel will provide support by testing and challenging the review’s emerging findings and recommendations.

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The review will consider the criminal legal aid system in its entirety and is chaired by Sir Christopher Bellamy QC. He will submit his recommendations to the Lord Chancellor later this year and it is intended that the report will be published by the end of this year alongside the government’s response.

Further details about the review can be found in the Ministry of Justice press release here.

Kate Aubrey Johnson, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Kate Aubrey Johnson is a child rights and youth justice specialist barrister and mediator and is recognised for her expertise in youth justice.

She chairs the Ministry of Justice Youth Justice Working Group on Quality of Advocacy and recently worked with Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth to provide guidance to the Judicial College on sentencing children for the Crown Court Compendium.

She established the Youth Justice Legal Centre, a national organisation which provides expert legal advice, guidance and training on children’s rights in the criminal justice system.

She also sits on a number of Advisory Boards and is currently helping to devise a national youth advocacy course with the ICCA.

She is co-author of the leading textbook Youth Justice Law and Practice (LAG, 2019) and is consultant editor for Halsbury’s Laws on criminal procedure involving children.

Joanne Cecil, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Joanne Cecil has a mixed serious crime and public law practice, encompassing civil litigation in the civil liberties sphere, including inquiries. She is ranked as a leading junior in crime and civil liberties and human rights. In 2019 she was awarded Legal Aid Barrister of the Year.

In 2018 she was awarded the Rising Star in Youth Justice Award by the Youth Justice Legal Centre and shortlisted by Legal 500 for Crime Junior of the Year.

She is Chair of the CBA Remuneration Committee.

Joanne has a particular specialism in children and criminal justice and is a Trustee of Just for Kids Law, the Standing Committee for Youth Justice and formerly ROLE UK.

She is a lead facilitator for the Advocacy and the Vulnerable and sits on the Ministry of Justice’s Working Group on Youth Advocacy.

She was also appointed as an independent commissioner on the ‘Bach’ Access to Justice Commission, is the Secretary of the Bar Human Rights Committee and is appointed as a Recorder in crime and family.

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