TAG News and Updates
Check back here regularly for news and updates relevant to the work undertaken by The Advocate's Gateway. Please contact us if you would like to advertise any relevant information for our site visitors here.
3 August 2022
HMCTS Approved Intermediary Services
On 1 April 2022, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) launched a contracted framework for approved intermediary service providers. For TAGs followers who are interested in this service, please see the HMCTS website.
12 July 2022
Humanising Justice Conference (21 June 2022)
TAG was delighted to be asked to speak at the Humanising Justice Conference in Brussels on 21 June. This was hosted by Validity, which is a legal advocacy organisation that provides specialist legal support to disability rights movements in Europe and Africa. TAG Committee Member, Charlotte Orrell, gave a presentation about TAG and the Registered Intermediary scheme. She was able to share examples of her work enabling autistic children to give evidence at court.
It was an honour to be able to speak alongside experts from across Europe. The presentations focused on supporting children’s access to justice, including those children who are migrants, or disabled or without parental care. The importance of individual assessment in criminal proceedings was highlighted by several speakers, which is one of the key themes in TAG’s toolkits.
4 July 2022
Updates to TAG
TAG would like to share some news with its community regarding a change in its leadership. Please see the two statements provided below:
"Chairing The Advocate’s Gateway since inception in 2012 has been a great privilege as has working with many highly motivated experts and the phenomenal Management Committee. I look forward to supporting and promoting ‘TAG' as it continues to play a big part in building a fairer justice system. Thank you to everyone who has supported me."
Professor Penny Cooper
"The Management Committee of The Advocate’s Gateway (TAG) expresses its enormous thanks to Professor Penny Cooper for all the inspiration, hard work, and leadership she has provided since TAG was founded. TAG, fortunately, will benefit from Penny’s continued support as it embarks on its next exciting decade. TAG relies upon the support of committed volunteers and if you would like to participate in such an important part of the justice system please do get in touch via TAG’s website."
TAG Management Committee
Our vision on the future of The Advocate's Gateway
The evolution of The Advocate’s Gateway (TAG)
TAG is a not-for-profit entity which is run by volunteers who are committed to improving access to justice globally.
As TAG approaches its 10 year anniversary in 2022 a lot has changed in relation to the questioning and treatment of vulnerable individuals within the justice system in England and Wales. There is always further work and improvement needed as experience and research grows and the Management Committee has determined that similarly TAG needs itself to evolve. One of the drivers of this is that the toolkits which TAG developed, initially with the focus on assisting advocates within the criminal justice system in England and Wales, have been used by judges and police officers, have been adopted in other legal areas including the family and civil courts, and been referred to and used in other jurisdictions e.g. Scotland, Australia, Norway and more.
Therefore the decision has been taken to take two phased steps in relation to the toolkits:
Phase 1 - the toolkits will be revised to retain the important and relevant information required to assist when dealing with different vulnerabilities but will be less jurisdiction specific both in terms of the type of law and geography. An example pilot toolkit for planning to question someone with a learning disability will shortly be added to the website, whilst retaining the previous toolkit for comparison.
Phase 2 - new toolkits will be added, covering other forms of vulnerability and all of the existing toolkits will go through a process of updating and revision to ensure that they continue to provide up-to-date best practice guidance.
The Management Committee encourages feedback both on the general approach that is being adopted but specifically on the pilot toolkit. The Management Committee also encourages everyone who visits the site to contact TAG with any resources or cases, from whichever area of law or anywhere in the world, which visitors to TAG may find of benefit. TAG will then review these and those which are considered relevant and appropriate will then be added to the ‘Resources’ section of the TAG website.
Should any individuals or organisations wish to support this evolution of TAG by means of donations or contributions then please contact us via the link on the website.
7 March 2022
Judging Values And Participation In Mental Capacity Law Conference
For those with an interest or involvement in the participation of vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection (CoP), the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research is hosting a Conference on 20 June 2022. With speakers such as Baroness Hale of Richmond in attendance, the Conference seeks to explore the following issues:
How values orient legal professionals in practising and judging in the CoP;
The law and reality of considering P’s values in best interests decision-making;
The challenges of effective participation in the CoP and why “P-centricity” is so hard to achieve in practice;
How academic research and legal practice in the CoP can mutually and productively inform one another;
Potential areas for training for CoP legal professionals;
What might be learned from other international mental capacity regimes.
Book your place HERE.
7 March 2022
TAG Annual General Meeting (AGM)
In line with the our Constitution, TAG will be hosting its AGM on 11 April 2022.
The Toolkits are copyrighted materials.