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Youth Courts Update

Speaker: Caroline Liggins
Chambers: Hodge Jones & Allen

Law Friends welcomes back specialist Caroline Liggins to the stage to once again give practitioners a crucial update, this time on children in the criminal justice system – a subject both she and LFS are passionate about. In this seminar, she addresses:

A child in law
Children in the police station
What is an appropriate adult?
Out of court disposals
Youth court update
Becoming an adult
The Youth Court
Live link evidence update

Relevant law

S. 37 Crime and Disorder Act 1998
Children and Young Persons Act 1993, section 44 courts
Children Act 2004 section 11 (2) (a) – police, YOS and prisons
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 3 (1)
Children and Young Persons Act 1933
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022

Caroline qualified in 2009 as a non-practising Barrister and cross qualified as a solicitor in 2012. In addition to her expertise in representing youths, she has a particular interest in clients with mental health conditions; she works with a wide range of other professionals in order to ensure that her clients are empowered to effectively participate in their defence and navigate their way through the criminal justice system as simply as possible.

Caroline is an experienced trial advocate in the Youth Court and has defended young clients charged with GBH, rape and armed robbery. She has built a substantial client following and has been described by her peers as pragmatic, hardworking and attentive; demonstrating maturity beyond her years.

Caroline is seen as a leader in her field. She conducts and is regularly instructed in Crown Court cases involving allegations of serious crime. She has acted in cases concerning sexual offences, murder, assault, fraud, the possession or use of firearms and the possession of drugs. She liaises closely with expert witnesses and counsel, allowing her to carefully prepare a case and defend it aggressively, resolving matters swiftly and effectively. In the course of her career Caroline’s expertise has seen her regularly called upon to represent high profile individuals including bankers, sports and media personalities.

Caroline was asked to speak to the House of Commons, as a part of the Justice Select committee opposing the introduction of Knife Crime Prevention Orders and she currently sits on the committee for Youth Justice Specialist Panel and enhanced fees and Quality of Advocacy working group with the Ministry of Justice. She is often asked to talk at conferences on aspects of Youth Justice. She also provided the impetus for the formation of the Youth Practitioner’s Association (YPA) which aspires to promote and ensure proper representation for young people within the criminal justice system.