SCYJ submission to consultation on domestic abuse

SCYJ has responded to the Home Office consultation, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse.

SCYJ has concerns around the measures proposed in the consultation insofar as they impact on children (16- and 17-year-old) alleged and convicted perpetrators of domestic violence:

  • Many child perpetrators of domestic abuse and children in the criminal justice system more widely face multiple vulnerabilities, with many being victims of domestic abuse themselves, either directly or indirectly. The proposals in the document do not address this.
  • The consultation pays no attention to the fact that 16- and 17-year-olds are children and must be treated differently to adults, with specific child-focussed responses.
  • The consultation pays very little attention to how children who are victims of abuse can be better supported, even when they go on to become alleged or actual perpetrators of abuse.
  • The proposals contained in the consultation may make it more likely that children will be caught and penalised as perpetrators of domestic abuse, increasing the criminalisation of children.

You can read our full submission here.

SCYJ submission to PAC inquiry into Courts and Tribunals reform

SCYJ has submitted written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee Transforming Courts and Tribunals inquiry. The inquiry aims to address the findings of a recent National Audit Office report that found the scale of proposed changes to HMCTS present a challenge, and HMCTS has so far made less progress than it original planned, with costs increasing whilst benefits have decreased.

SCYJ has concerns that there has been a general lack of consideration of the distinct needs of children in the HMCTS Reform Programme, and the impact reforms may have on children’s rights and justice outcomes. This is likely to impact on projected costs and benefits.

SCYJ believes the reforms are unlikely to produce significant cost savings, and will reduce the service available to vulnerable users, threatening access to justice.

Our response focuses on the HMCTS Reform Programme in the criminal courts, especially on the use of video links and online pleas with child defendants (under the age of 18).

You can read our full submission here, and published by the Public Accounts Committee here.

SCYJ submission to JCHR youth detention inquiry

SCYJ has submitted written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into the use of solitary confinement and constraint in the children’s custodial estate.

SCYJ’s submission outlines how:

  1. Solitary confinement and restraint always risk breaching a child’s human rights.
  2. The use of solitary confinement and restraint is on the rise.
  3. This shows a failure to adopt a child-focused approach to custody. We press for a wholesale reform of the custody system for children.

You can read our submission here.