Council holds webinar on sentencing young people guideline

SSC - CYCJ logos

The Scottish Sentencing Council is pleased to announce that it will be holding a joint webinar with CYCJ on its new 'Sentencing young people’ guideline on 20 January 2022.

The guideline, which encourages rehabilitation and seeks to reduce reoffending among young people, was approved by the High Court of Justiciary in November and will come in to effect in all courts in Scotland from January 26, 2022. It will apply to the sentencing of those who are under the age of 25 at the date of their plea of guilty or when a finding of guilt is made against them.

The webinar will give an overview of the guideline’s key themes, including the development of cognitive maturity, the importance of rehabilitative approaches to sentencing, and how the impact of trauma and adversity in childhood can be addressed to reduce reoffending. It will feature three expert speakers:

  • Dr Suzanne O’Rourke,  senior lecturer in forensic clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh and a co-author of the literature review ‘The development of cognitive and emotional maturity in adolescents and its relevance in judicial contexts’ which was commissioned by the Council.
  • Retired Sheriff David Mackie, who was in private practice as a solicitor and an advocate for around 25 years before being appointed as a sheriff in 2001, and sat as the resident sheriff in Alloa Sheriff Court for 15 years until his retirement in 2019.
  • Kirsty Giles, an integrated psychotherapist and National Project Manager at the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit who specialises in the treatment of children and young people.

John Scott QC, a former member of the Council and current advisor to its Sentencing Young People Committee, will chair the event, and Fiona Dyer (Director, CYCJ) will introduce it. There will be an opportunity for Q&A and it is expected that other members and advisors of the Sentencing Young People Committee will be present.

The Council is keen for all those with an interest in the guideline, particularly sentencers and practitioners, to join the webinar.

Register here.