IfJ is part of THE CARE NOT CUSTODY COALITION and Catherine O’Neill was invited to attend THE CARE NOT CUSTODY reception, hosted by Prison Reform Trust on Thursday 21st June. Lord Bradley presented on the progress of the Liaison and Diversion roll out, which is now functioning in 90% of the country. Some experiences were shared by people who had been placed on Community Sentence Treatment Requirements rather than prison. They spoke about the significant changes that had occurred in their lives during and following the CSTR. Lynne Stubbings, Chair of the Women’s Institute spoke about their commitment to CARE NOT CUSTODY following the death of a WI member’s son whilst in custody, who had mental health issues. Also present was Lord […]

Catherine O’Neill, Chair of IfJ invited to join Jenny Talbot OBE of the Prison Reform Trust

Catherine O’Neill, Chair of IfJ invited to join Jenny Talbot OBE of the Prison Reform Trust

On 16-19th May, Catherine O’Neill, Chair of IfJ was invited to join Jenny Talbot OBE of the Prison Reform Trust, to travel to Bulgaria to join discussions about Access to Justice for women with Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and trafficking. The event was led by the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (BGRF). BGRF was founded in June 1998 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The team is made up of lawyers, academics, experts in advocacy, education, monitoring violations of human rights, lobbying for legislative changes, preparing publications and networking. The event was opened by Rositsa Dimitrova, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Labour and Social Policy, who was especially interested in the role of intermediaries. […]



ARTICLE ABOUT NEELMA TRAINING EVENT, 16 APRIL 2018 VULNERABLE VICTIMS AND THE USE OF INTERMEDIARIES IN COURT On the evening of Monday 16th April 60 JPs, 1 Crown Court Judge and 2 District Judges crowded into court 1 at Snaresbrook Crown Court to hear from Baroness Newlove of Warrington, the Victims’ Commissioner and from Catherine O’Neill, a Registered Intermediary and Chair of Intermediaries for Justice [i] about how JPs can help vulnerable victims, witnesses and defendants get the support they need in court. Registered Intermediaries (RIs) are trained professionals who assist people who may have communication problems in the criminal justice system. Many of us have only rarely – if at all – encountered a Registered Intermediary in our courts […]

NSPCC Research Seminar on Young Witnesses’ Experiences of the Criminal Justice System 16th April 2018

IfJ committee members represented the voice of the intermediary at a research seminar last week. The seminar was aimed at discussing some of the issues which the NSPCC are currently looking at in relation to young witnesses in the criminal courts.    You will be have seen and hopefully completed Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson’s survey about young witnesses which forms part of the research project they are carrying out for the NSPCC. The aim is to revisit the ‘Measuring Up’ paper which was originally published in 2009 and to see how things have changed for children in the criminal courts.Measuring Up Revisited.   This involves a review of policies as well as obtaining views across the CJS: the judiciary, lawyers, […]

Update: Letter of Concern

Following our Letter of Concern, members of the IfJ committee have been in close contact with The Ministry of Justice. Last week (10/4/18) we had a helpful meeting with Matthew Gould and Samantha Dine of MoJ and plan to meet on a regular basis.

IMPORTANT NEWS! Charity Status

We are delighted to announce that Intermediaries for Justice is now a charity! This has been the result of the dedication and determination of committee members and most importantly due to the part you, the members, have played in directing us in surveys and general feedback. Thank you so much for your involvement. Now that we have Charitable status, we hope more doors will open for us and that we will be able to expand to serve the public and professionals involved in the Justice System. Charity Registration Certificate

IfJ’s Letter of Concern

The Chair of IfJ, Catherine O’Neill, has composed a Letter of Concern regarding the proposed training of new recruits. Click here to read it.    

Working with Defendants

Docks – guilty already? In crown courts and many magistrates’ courts, defendants are expected to sit in a locked and mostly glassed dock throughout the various hearings and trial. Aside from security dock officers and interpreters, Intermediaries are the only court professionals who spend any length of time in a court dock. This side of the work of an Intermediary with defendants can be intimidating; sitting behind a glass screen, beside a person who may well be convicted of serious crimes, with the door locked and the hard seats firmly screwed to the floor. These glass docks were introduced as recently as 2000 and there is no statutory requirement or judicial authority for their use in our courts. Defendants are […]