22 September 2019

Youth Court Advocacy

The BSB considers Youth Court work to be a high-risk area of work following our Youth Proceedings Advocacy Review in 2015 . This Review found that standards of advocacy in the Youth Court were variable and as a result the interests of some of the most vulnerable people within the criminal justice system were not being adequately represented. 

As a response to the Review, we published the Youth Proceedings competences.

We have also introduced a change to the Handbook requiring barristers working in the Youth Court and those who intend to do so in the next 12 months, to register that with us and declare that they have the specialist skills, knowledge and attributes necessary to work effectively with young people, as set out in the Youth Proceedings competences and guidance. Barristers will be able to register and unregister through the new MyBar portal. Registration will appear publicly on our barristers register against a barrister's name.

Pupils are required to register if they intend to undertake work in the Youth Court in their practising six period. They can register by emailing supervision@barstandardsboard.org.uk

We will be reviewing the CPD of a number of the advocates who have declared that they are conducting work in the Youth Court as part of our CPD spot check.

The BSB has produced this video which explains what young people, their guardians, and other professionals should expect from barristers in the Youth Court.