July 2015

NZLS CLE - Youth Advocates Conference


This NZLS CLE conference is for Youth Advocates involved in New Zealand’s youth justice system through the Youth Court and Youth Justice Family Group Conferences.

The conference programme includes sessions to help youth advocates more effectively represent particularly vulnerable clients. This is in response to a growing number of complex cases coming before the Court involving young people from disturbing backgrounds and young people who have neurodisabilities*. Participants will have the opportunity to find out about developments in this specialist area, and update their knowledge and skills.

In-keeping with this theme Dr Bridget Mirfin-Veitch and Dr Emily Henderson**, recent recipients of Law Foundation research funding, will present a session titled “Facilitating Positive Communication with Disabled Young People”.

The conference will also look at “reinvigorating the Family Group Conference, refocusing on the tools given to the Youth Court by way of the 2010 amendments and looking at what we can do as practitioners to be better Youth Advocates”.

Conference registration includes a copy of the Henwood Trust’s 2014 publication “New Zealand’s Gift to the World the Youth Justice Family Group Conference”. This Law Foundation funded publication considers the progress of the FGC since its inception 25 years ago and makes recommendations for its future.

Attendees are entitled to 12.5 hours for Continued Professional Development.

Conference Programme and registration information
Conference Brochure

*Neurodisability refers collectively to a number of conditions including: foetal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, communication disorders and learning disabilities.

**Dr Bridget Mirfin-Veitch’s Law Foundation funded research report is titled: Developing a more responsive legal system for people with intellectual disability in New Zealand. Dr Emily Henderson, 2012 Law Foundation International Research Fellow, researched “Cross-Examining Vulnerable Witnesses in the Fair Trial: Rehabilitation or Replacement?” Her work is due to be published in 2015 in a series of articles in international legal journals, including The Criminal Law Review.