Responding to communication needs in the justice system

International Conference 2017

Our Access to Justice for Vulnerable People Conference, deemed a success

The Advocate’s Gateway second international conference: Access to Justice for Vulnerable People took place on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June 2017 at the Law Society in London. The event was praised by delegates who found it an insightful and useful forum in which to learn and network.

Across the two days, an inspiring array of speakers presented ground breaking research, imparted their knowledge on vulnerability-related-subjects ranging from:

  • international perspectives and innovations across different jurisdictions
  • the pre-trial stage
  • young defendants
  • women in the Criminal Justice System
  • Legal rights and responsibilities
  • effective participation
  • autism and communication
  • special measures and  the use of intermediaries
  • comparative responses to vulnerability, as well as
  • the latest developments in Criminal Justice proceedings

The full programme for detail on sessions and speakers can be found here.

This second international conference led by The Advocate’s Gateway and funded by The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), explored the access to justice combining and expanding interdisciplinary research and practitioner knowledge to encourage innovation and best practice. Facilitating an international networking exercise as well as, knowledge and practice sharing and the proper presentation of such cases globally.

An engaged audience

  • Sessions were widely discussed on twitter (#TAG17Conf hashtag) where delegates highlighted key points and advice to practitioners and researchers such as:
  • "…there have been many positive changes on the treatment of vulnerable people in the Criminal Justice System, however findings suggest that despite these, we still have a way to go.”;
  • “…there’s a need for a clearer definition of vulnerability, universal ground rules - and a review of basic advocacy training”; “…there should be mandatory disability training for lawyers and judges…”;
  • “…it is very important that ABE interviews are conducted in a coherent manner for vulnerable people…”;
  • “…whether you have a diagnosed vulnerability or not, being an unrepresented defendant makes you vulnerable...”;
  • “…trauma places vulnerable people at a disadvantage in trial due to testimony gaps and inconsistencies then exploited during cross-examination…”
  • And what seemed to sum up the conference’s spirit: “…new guidance must be always backed up by peer reviewed research.”

Confererence Publication

Many areas of knowledge and research presented were compiled in the conference book edited by Professor Penny Cooper and Linda Hunting. It is now available from our publishers at: http://www.wildy.com/isbn/9780854902675/access-to-justice-for-vulnerable-people

 

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