14 October 2019

Registering Youth Court work

We are introducing 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.

We consider 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 may choose to review barristers who are registered for Youth Court work. This may, for example, mean looking at CPD records as part of our annual spot check, or by asking barristers to provide evidence in support of their declaration of competence.