Michael Sieff Foundation logo

Care & Crime Together?

Seminar on closer integration between the Family and Youth Courts

14 June 2018

Chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew

The Michael Sieff Foundation organised a seminar at (and supported by) the Nuffield Foundation on 14 June 2018 to discuss the merits of and barriers to closer integration and collaboration between these two jurisdictions dealing with cases involving under 18s.

A list of Seminar Attendees can be downloaded here.

Two presentations were given:

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division

Sir James referred to his two recent lectures:

  1. Children Across the Justice Systems
    The 2017 Parmoor Lecture to the Howard League for Penal Reform
    Given by Sir James Munby President of the Family Division
    30 October 2017
    Download the transcript of the full lecture from the Howard League’s website.
  2. What is Family Law? – Securing Social Justice for Children and Young People
    A lecture by Sir James Munby
    President of the Family Division of the High Court and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales
    At the University of Liverpool, 30 May 2018
    (Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture Series 2017-18)
    Download the transcript of the full lecture transcript from the Courts & Tribunals Judiciary website.

The Magistrates Association, Linda Logan, Chairman Youth Court Committee and Rupert Holderness, Chairman Family Court Committee

Slides from the presentation can be downloaded here (Powerpoint zipped file).

Discussion of Merits and Barriers

A plenary discussion followed the presentations, concluding with a summary of key points:

  • Recognition of current limitations to legislative change
  • Improvements can be achieved utilising existing legislation:
    • Parenting Orders (Youth Courts)
    • Section 9, Children & Young Persons Act 1969 – permits a criminal court to request that a local authority makes investigations and provides information with regard to a child’s welfare and the authority has a duty to comply
    • Paragraph 35, Schedule 1 of the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008 (not enacted) would enable courts to review youth rehabilitation orders and check on progress
  • Improved awareness, knowledge and understanding of the two jurisdictions across both jurisdictions would be welcomed
  • Improved communication and information sharing between agencies (CAFCASS, children’s services, YJB and YOTs) would be beneficial for agencies and the judiciary
  • Opportunities for encouraging inter-disciplinary training should be explored
  • Digitisation of court systems offered a gateway to better inter-agency information sharing
  • Currently there is no data on young people subject to orders in both jurisdictions; these cross-over cases need to be identified
  • A pilot programme of better information-sharing, problem-solving and awareness could be a good starting point, as per the development of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court
  • Research and evidence-based reports should be better used to inform training and practice
  • The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory will be a valuable source of shared research

The Crossover Chart and its use in New Zealand Courts

Crossover Chart Used in the New Zealand Youth Legal System

A PDF file of the Crossover Chart can be downloaded here.

The explanation of the use of the Crossover Chart can be downloaded here.

If you want to know more please contact the Secretary at: richard@michaelsieff-foundation.org.uk

June 2018