Children under 18 years old are afforded a number of special protections by virtue of the fact that they are children in the eyes of the law. These protections fall away when an individual turns 18 and they are legally considered an ‘adult’. For defendants who cross the threshold into adulthood during the criminal process, the impact of reaching this milestone can be profound.
Today JUSTICE has published the latest working party report ‘Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System’. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to chair the working party that produced this report. The report makes practical recommendations to reduce BAME disproportionality in the Youth Justice System (YJS) of England and Wales.
David Lammy’s landmark review of racial bias in the Criminal Justice System (‘CJS’), made many key recommendations to help improve trust and fairness in the CJS when it was published in 2017. One of which was to expand the use of the deferred prosecution for adults and young offenders.
The temptation to approach the adjudication of a student complaint as merely an ‘internal process’, is one of the most common errors made by some higher education institutions. The process adopted must be capable of examination by an independent and external eye to ensure that at each stage of the process, the rights of all individuals involved are protected.
Once an allegation is made against a student (or member of academic staff), either by another student, a member of staff or someone outside the university, it is important that that the University takes stock of the issue and acts carefully to ensure fairness to all parties.