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Criminal Law Practice Update 2019

Speaker: Julia Needham
Chambers: Goldsmith Chambers

Criminal Law Practice Update 2019
Julia Needham
Goldsmith Chambers

Julia is a Criminal Barrister with experience of defending across a wide range of cases, including possession of firearms with intent, armed robbery and other violent crime, production and supply of Class A drugs/test purchase operations, witness intimidation, sexual assault including historic sex abuse, hate crime and domestic violence cases.  Known for her meticulous preparation, Julia is regularly re-instructed by those familiar with her proactive approach.

Here Julia presents an essential sentencing update, revealing new seriousness guidelines as well as examples of unusual cases whereby there is no definitive guideline in force. She highlights problems associated with short custodial sentences, referring to data showing reoffending rates and other undesirable outcomes. She also offers further practical advice, illustrating ways of making use of various technologies available to be used in courtrooms.

Key words/ topics

Seriousness Guidelines

Sentencing update

Sentencing practice

Unusual cases

Mental health

Learning disabilities

Arson & Criminal Damage 

Cruelty on Child Sentencing Guidelines

Assault on Emergency Workers

Out of Court Disposals

New Intermediary Offences Guideline

Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons

Domestic Abuse Overarching Principles

Extended explanations

Nature of the Offence

Personal Mitigation

Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Criminal Practice Directions

Victims of Modern Slavery

More about Julia Needham

Julia has defended cases investigated by Operation Trident and the Flying Squad, and has experience of many cases involving complex disclosure issues. Julia has a particular interest in cases of this nature: when defending, she ensures that the prosecution are held unyieldingly to account in this regard. Julia has appeared regularly in the High Court and Court of Appeal, resulting in a number of reported cases.

Given her lifelong interest in Human Rights Law / Civil Liberties, Julia welcomes instructions from the defence or prosecution in cases where these principles are engaged. Julia is especially interested in the jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Court and welcomes instructions in this area. She regularly accepts pro bono instructions and is Advocate’s Pro Bono Champion (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) at Goldsmith Chambers.

Following a career break during which she moved to Worcestershire, Julia returned to practice in 2019 and now practices predominantly in the West Midlands.

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