Our highly regarded courses cover all major aspects of the youth justice system and are suitable for anyone interested in youth justice. Our training is delivered by a specialist team of leading youth justice lawyers, together with interactive workshops with former young clients.

All advocates representing children in the criminal justice system should have undergone specialist training. In July 2017, the Lord Chief Justice observed that

“[I]t would be difficult to conceive of an advocate being competent to act in a case involving young witnesses or defendants unless the advocate had undertaken specific training.” 1

Our training programme

Our Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) project has developed a specialist foundation programme of youth justice training for legal executives, solicitors and barristers.

Book for training

We also train youth justice professionals including Youth Offending Teams and non-legal professionals about youth justice law. For more details for non-legal professionals, please click to go to the YJLC site. Click for more details for Youth Offending Teams.

Youth Justice Summit 2019

The annual YJLC Youth Justice Summit brings together professionals from across the youth justice sector to raise standards in youth justice advocacy, improve the status of this area of work and to support a growing community of specialist youth justice lawyers. The 2019 Summit will take place on 17 May 2019, and is being organised in association with The Dickson Poon School of Law at Kings College London.

The keynote speakers for the summit have been announced today; they are:

  • Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, leading cognitive neuroscientist;
  • Professor David Ormerod, Criminal Law Commissioner; and
  • Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Summit will feature sessions on a diverse range of topics, including child and adolescent brain development; child terrorist: an oxymoron; children in adult courts: facilitating effective participation; reducing custodial remand of children; the impact of turning 18 in the criminal justice system; psychologist or psychiatrist: instructing the right expert and understanding the welfare principle in criminal cases.

Book your place

YJLC hosted the second Youth Justice Summit in 2018, you can read all about it here.

What people say

Some feedback we have received:

‘The best bit of the course for me was the interaction and feedback from young clients combined with clear guidance on the law. I am now more aware of the provisions in relation to young people and I feel now that even though I don’t know all the answers, I now know where to look.’ Pupil barrister

‘Just for Kids Law inspired me to try to make a difference and affirmed my belief that children deserve the best legal representation possible.  Through attending their training, I now feel able to provide quality representation to children with the requisite high standards of care, knowledge and passion.’ 

Ita Farrelly, Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP

  • Over 95% said that they would change at least one element of their practice as a result of the course;
  • 90% of delegates said they would recommend the course to colleagues;
  • 82% of respondents said they still think about the training or refer to their notes;
  • 89% of respondents said the training was useful to them.

Bespoke Training Courses

We are able to develop training courses on youth justice law for all practitioners. We can tailor packages to cover specific areas for lawyers and other professionals who want more in-depth training in a specific area.  Please email info@yjlc.uk  for details.

The topics covered in our training include:

  • Overview of the youth justice system
  • Principles of the Youth Justice System (incl. UNCRC & international law)
  • Children at the police station & out of court disposals
  • Law and practice: Children in the youth court
  • Law and practice: Children in adult courts
  • Youth Offending Teams & Sentencing
  • Effective communication: Importance of Background
  • Capacity in criminal proceedings: effective participation & fitness to plead
  • Role Plays with youth justice trainers
  • Q&A with Former Clients
  • Case Studies


  1. In the Court of Appeal case of R v Grant-Murray and Henry; R v McGill, Hewitt and Hewitt [2017] EWCA 1228 the Lord Chief Justice commented that “it would be difficult to conceive of an advocate being competent to act in a case involving young witnesses or defendants unless the advocate had undertaken specific training.” (at paragraph 226)   (back)