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Lawyers’ network

A forum to discuss and debate issues arising from our legal and policy work.

The Howard League lawyers’ network provides a forum for professionals to discuss and debate issues arising from our legal and policy work. It is open to members of the legal profession and others who have an interest in penal reform.

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Previous events

Crime, care, discrimination & remorse: Children in the justice system was an event held at Doughty Street Chambers in London on 29 June 2022.

The event launched Patrice Lawrence’s book Needle and featured a practitioner-led discussion on crime, care, discrimination and remorse. Speaking alongside Patrice were: Garry Green, barrister; Claire Salama, of the Howard League for Penal Reform; Leah Connolly, of the Youth Practitioners’ Association; and Jordan and Maleekah, of Drive Forward’s policy forum.

Sentencing Young Adults, a law and practice seminar launching four short films, was held online on 13 October 2021.

This joint Howard League and T2A event launched four short films to embed the growing consensus that young adults require a distinct approach within the criminal justice system. Clips from the films were shown along with an expert panel discussion. The discussion explored how the information in the films could help practitioners to recognise and meet young adults’ needs.

Speakers included: Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform (Chair); Fuschia Allen, Head of Practice Development (Courts) at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service; HHJ Rosa Dean, resident judge at Harrow Crown Court and member of the Sentencing Council; Garry Green, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers; and District Judge (Magistrates’ Court) Karen Hammond, Judicial College DJMC Course Director Youth Court Training.

Making Black Lives Matter in the Criminal Justice System – an antiracist guide for lawyers was held on 30 June 2021.

This event launched the Howard League’s practical guide for antiracist lawyers, developed in association with Black Protest Legal Support and in consultation with an expert advisory group. The guide is designed to support lawyers to be antiracist at each phase of a client’s journey through the system.

Panel: Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform; Ife Thompson, Lawyer and founder of Black Protest Legal Support; Garry Green, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers; Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor of Law, LSE; Naima Sakande, Women’s Justice Advocate, APPEAL; Aika Stephenson, Legal Director, Just for Kids Law;

The recording of the webinar can be viewed here.

The guide can be downloaded here.

Making sure Black lives matter in the criminal justice system – practical steps towards change, an event in association with Black Protest Legal and Doughty Street Chambers, was held online on 28 July 2020.

The Howard League is acutely aware from its specialist legal service for children and young people in prison that it is time to work together to see what practical steps lawyers and practitioners in the system can take to change outcomes in the system. In association with Black Protest Legal, we want to develop a short practical guide on how to be an anti-racist lawyer. A new Advisory Board will assist on content. This panel-led discussion considered those issues which would inform development of the guide.

Panel: Garry Green, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers (Chair); Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform; Patrice Lawrence, writer; Aika Stephenson, Legal Director and Co-Founder, Just for Kids Law; Ife Thompson, Barrister and founder of Black Protest Legal and Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health (BLAM) – (slides are available here)

What if the dock was abolished in criminal courts? was held on 22 January 2020 at Garden Court Chambers.

The event launched a think piece by Professor Linda Mulcahy, University of Oxford, Dr Emma Rowden, Oxford Brookes University and Associate Professor Meredith Rossner, which advocates for the abolition of the dock in English and Welsh courtrooms and aimed to stimulate debate among practitioners on how to challenge the routine use of the dock for child and adult defendants in criminal proceedings.

What if the dock was abolished in criminal courts? pamphlet can be downloaded here.

Professor Linda Mulcahy was on the panel with Kate Aubrey-Johnson, Joanne Cecil and Rajiv Menon QC, all from Garden Court Chambers.

Children and imprisonment: global perspectives, national practices, rights and remedies, an event in association with the Standing Committee for Youth Justice and Doughty Street Chambers Children’s Rights Group was held on 17 December 2019.

The event was chaired by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Doughty Street Chambers with presentations by:

Reducing the criminalisation of looked after children at the police station was a masterclass held on 24 September 2019 at Garden Court Chambers.

This event, chaired by Kate Aubrey-Johnson, barrister and mediator, Garden Court Chambers, included presentations by:  

Representing looked-after Children at the police station: a step-by-step guide for lawyers was launched the event.

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