The role of lawyers in supporting young people in the criminal justice system: balancing economic survival and children’s rights

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Welfare and Family Law
Early online date20 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Oct 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Legal aid reductions have caused a crisis in the criminal justice system impacting the quality of representation and advice provided by lawyers. This paper is particularly concerned with the impact of these cuts on young people in the youth criminal justice system. The paper will examine how changes to the way in which defence lawyers are funded is having a damaging impact upon the experience of young people involved in the criminal justice system. The particular vulnerability of young people, coupled with the complexity of laws and procedures surrounding youth justice make it particularly concerning that the system is financially incentivising the provision of inadequate representation in the youth justice system. These issues will be considered in light of the standards set by the Council of Europe Guidelines on Child-Friendly Justice.