Advocacy for Children in Conflict with the Law

Accessible guidance for practitioners who prosecute or defend children & young people in the criminal justice system.

Specific vulnerabilities

Children in conflict with the law are some of the most disadvantaged in society with acute and complex educational, social and financial vulnerabilities. Many of them come from dysfunctional and chaotic families where drug and alcohol misuse, physical and emotional abuse and offending is common. Often, they are victims of crimes themselves.

Adolescent brain development and a lack of maturity contribute to their propensity to criminal behaviour.

The work of the ICCA

The ICCA believes that this field of work should be a specialism and supports the continual improvement of advocacy standards for those prosecuting and defending cases involving children and young people. It is clear that the consequences for children who cannot properly engage with the system because of poor communication or an inability to be understood can be catastrophic and can damage future life chances.

To this end, we have developed a national course tackling some of the most challenging areas of advocacy in this field. Supported by a strong Working Group of legal, medical, linguistic and communication experts, our new training material will provide blended learning over 2.5 days. It will be delivered by the Inns and Circuits on a largely pro bono basis.

The guides listed below have been updated and rebranded and will form an integral part of our new training materials.

Our film on communication and engagement with children in the youth justice system is available below and also forms part of the new course.