The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which has now reached the Report Stage in the House of Lords, legislates for the introduction of secure colleges as a form of youth detention. In its current form it includes provisions that would allow the authorisation of the use of force on children detained in such colleges, including “to ensure good order and discipline”.
Martin Chamberlain QC and Max Schaefer were asked by CRAE, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, to provide a legal opinion on those provisions. Their opinion, which benefited from substantial assistance by Charlotte Thomas (then Martin Chamberlain’s pupil, now a Member of Chambers), set out serious concerns with the Government’s proposals, and in particular their compatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights and other international human rights conventions. It is now being briefed to Members of Parliament.