National Youth Justice Conference 2021

Please note we will be updating this page as we receive and edit resources.

The National Youth Justice Conference 2021 took place on June 16 and 17 online. The theme was ‘Children’s rights in justice: UNCRC and beyond’, reflecting Scotland’s children’s rights obligations under the UNCRC, Care Review Promise and the Scottish Government’s ‘Rights-Respecting Approach to Justice for Children and Young People – Scotland’s Vision and Priorities 2021’ which was launched by the Minister for Children and Young People at the conference on June 16.

Delegates enjoyed talks from leading speakers and experts including Juliet Harris (Together, Scotland); Dr Anthony Charles (Swansea University and Observatory on the Human Rights of Children); Iain Smith (Scottish Lawyer of the Year 2020); Jennifer Davidson (Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures); and Gillian Mawdsley (Criminal Defence Solicitor). They also had a choice of 18 workshops to attend, with opportunities to network at discussion rooms.

Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, chaired Day 1, with Fiona Dyer (CYCJ’s Director Interim) chairing Day 2.

Young people with lived experience of the justice and care systems were well represented, with Hannah Snow giving a deeply moving but ultimately inspiring talk on her experiences as a child who didn’t know her rights in the justice system, and Youth Justice Voices presenting on the incredible progress of this participation project so far.

Read our conference blog to find out more.

Here you’ll find resources from speakers and workshops (where available/permitted):

Conference programme

Workshop overview

Speaker biographies

Event evaluation report (thank you to everyone who gave us feedback)


Minister’s welcome
Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People
Watch here

Children’s rights in law – securing justice for all children and young people
Juliet Harris, Together Scotland
Watch here
View slides

UNCRC and me: What I wish I’d known about my rights
Hannah Snow
Watch here

Fragility, resilience and determination? Children’s rights and the future
Dr Anthony Charles, Swansea University
Watch here
View slides

Child-friendly justice pathways from an international perspective
Professor Jennifer Davidson
Watch here
View slides

Childhood Trauma and the Failure of the Justice System
Iain Smith, Keegan-Smith Defence Lawyers
Watch here

Putting children’s rights at the heart of service.
Fiona Dyer, CYCJ
Watch here

Age of Referral to the Children’s Hearing System.
Ross Gibson, CYCJ
Watch here


Chair’s address
Fiona Dyer, CYCJ
View slides

Children: Their 360-degree role within the Scottish criminal justice system.
Gillian Mawdsley, Law Society Scotland
Watch here

Co-producing a participation strategy
Ross Gibson, CYCJ
Watch here

Participation in a Pandemic
Youth Just Us/Youth Justice Voices
Watch here


Watch, Act, Listen: Artivisim

Project Return Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (Staf).


Workshop 1: Rights Respecting Approach to Justice for Children and Young People: Scottish Government Vision and Action Plan and Standards
Scottish Government Watch here

Workshop 3: New ways of addressing children’s needs? Uniting Bayesian analysis, big data and pro-Article 12 ways of working to support children in conflict with the law
Dr Anthony Charles, Swansea University and Helen Hodges, Cardiff University
Watch here

Workshop 5: Inclusion as Prevention: Shifting focus from crisis response to inclusive and rights-respecting engagement with young people
South Lanarkshire Council and IAP
Watch here

Workshop 9: Rossie, a Rights Respecting School Shauni Crighton and Jan Philip, Rossie Young People’s Trust. Watch here

Workshop 13: Sentencing and the Rights of Children and Young People
Scottish Sentencing Council. Watch here

Workshop 14: Restorative Justice in Scotland Pamela Morrison, CYCJ and Rachael Moss, Community Justice Scotland. View slides

Workshop 17: Young people’s experiences of bail and remand Ursula Kilkelly and Graiine Smyth, University College Cork and Oberstown and Nina Vaswani, CYCJ. Watch here

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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