Commenting on the Independent Parliamentarians’ Inquiry into the Operation and Effectiveness of the Youth Court, Chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew, SCYJ Chair, Penelope Gibbs, said:
“The very tragic suicide of a teenager just after appearing in an adult court indicates that the experience can be alienating and disturbing for teenagers. As this report sets-out, adult courts, whether presided over by magistrates or Crown Court judges, are particularly unfit to deal with children’s needs.
“However, even the Youth Court is in many ways unsuitable for children – it is staffed by lawyers who sometimes have no specialist training, and by magistrates who sit on youth cases infrequently. It too needs reform.”