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Kids Law

Author: Alma-Constance Denis-Smith and Lucinda Acland

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This is a podcast about children and the laws that affect them as they grow up. Alma-Constance, a 10 year old girl living in England, UK, discovered that when she turned 10 she would have reached the age of criminal responsibility. This is one of the youngest ages of criminalising children in the developed world. That was a pretty shocking discovery for her especially as she realised that she and her peers knew nothing about what this meant in practice and how it can affected children and their families. With the help of Lucinda Acland, a lawyer, and supported by Next 100 Years, they set out to ask some questions of leading experts to help children make sense of it all. There are a lot of laws that affect #children as they grow up and they are confusing and complicated and can affect all aspects of their day-to-day life from #education to online protections or at home, if families break up. It is difficult to keep track and understand the laws and how they impact a child's life. Alma-Constance is determined to help #TeachKidsLaw at a much younger age to help them grow up into adults confident with their legal knowledge. Understanding how the law works and being able to understand complex concepts of #justice and #ruleoflaw will help anyone as they try to navigate their lives. You can email us: kidslaw@spark21.org or reach us on social media channels and our www.kidslaw.info website.
10 Episodes
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In this episode, Alma-Constance talks to MP Edward Timpson CBE about his experience and knowledge of the foster care system in the UK. Ed is the MP for Eddisbury and was a family law barrister in Cheshire before joining the Conservative Party and serving as the Minister for Children and Families from 2015 to 2017. They discuss the difference between fostering and adoption, legal changes to make sure young people are looked after for as long as possible, and the importance of vulnerable children’s views and feelings being taken into account.  Alma-Constance asks Ed about the changes he believes still need to be made within the foster system, such as giving foster parents more freedom when looking after children, and Ed encourages young people to speak to their MPs so that their voices are heard when it comes to laws that affect them. Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions, ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview, please contact us through the website or through social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our eighth episode, Alma-Constance tells Lucinda that she was shocked to find out that she has reached the age of criminal responsibility at just 10 years old and wanted to find out why we need a criminal justice system and how does it affect children.  Their guest for this episode is the person who calls themselves the Secret Barrister, who is a junior barrister specialising in criminal law, and author and blogger.  The Secret Barrister does not want to reveal their identity in public and  wants to be able explain the law plainly so people can understand how it affects us all. Their words were read out by Alice Acland to keep their voice anonymous.In our previous interviews with Max Hill and Cressida Dick we have heard that very few children get caught up in crime, but of course when they do it can have very serious consequences for them and has a huge impact on their lives and their family. Some people find it confusing that someone accused of a crime should be allowed to have a lawyer defending them. But this is a very important principle that everyone is entitled to a fair hearing especially  when it is the state, the government who is prosecuting them and they have resources to do this, and the consequences can be so serious. You can find more about The Secret Barrister on their blog: https://thesecretbarrister.comThe Secret Barrister’s first book and Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller, “Stories of The Law and How It’s Broken”, was published by Pan Macmillan in March 2018, and was in the top-ten bestseller list for over a year. Their new book, “Fake Law”, was published by Picador in September 2020.Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our latest episode Alma-Constance and Lucinda tackle another big topic - children and work.Their guest was employment lawyer Kevin Poulter, a partner in solicitors firm Freeths, who advises people about the rights and duties of employment.   As kids grow, it is exciting to think that they can earn their own money and then make decisions about what to do with it. Taking up some work experience can be a good way for a child to find out more about the world of work which can be useful later on in life, as they decide about the types of work they may want to do as adults. Looking back in time, it was the case that  many children had to work, unless their family was wealthy. They were expected to work as soon as they  could and the type of work depended on where you lived either in the countryside, towns and cities.  Indeed, some of the first employment-related laws concerned children.  Alma-Constance and Lucinda  would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our podcast and, if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us on via our email, website - www. kidslaw.info  or on social media. Follow us on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfoYou can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode! More readinghttps://www.gov.uk/child-employmentIs it legal? A parents’ guide to the lawhttps://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pdf/FPI%20is%20it%20legal%20Feb_08.pdfhttps://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/in-the-home/home-alone/
When Alma-Constance discussed the age of criminal responsibility starting at 10 years old in England and Wales with DPP director Max Hill QC (in our episode 2), Max talked about the police investigating when people commit crimes. Alma-Constance was curious to know more about the work the police do and how it affects children. Our guest for this episode - to tackle these questions -  was Dame Cressida Dick, who is the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service which means she is head of the police force in London. The Met is one of the 45 police forces in the UK - the force, by officer numbers, is the largest in the United Kingdom by a significant margin, and one of the biggest in the world. Alma quizzes Cressida on what happens if a child is suspected of a crime, the role of police officers in schools, changes in crime levels since the pandemic and how girls can keep safe at school and elsewhere.Cressida tells her how, at 10, she was a shy but active child who enjoyed sports and the outdoors, was ‘not brilliant’ at school work, was untidy and ‘quite naughty’.  She puts her success down a love of the job and hard work as well as the support and confidence given to her by those around her growing up who gave her a sense she could achieve whatever she wanted to. She recounts the first arrest she ever made, in Soho in 1984, of a man attempting to break into a red telephone box with a screwdriver.   You can read more about the Metropolitan Police and the police and how the get involved in children's lives:https://www.met.police.uk/cy-GB/heddluoedd/metropolitan-police/areas/campaigns/2018/celebrating-100-years-of-women-policing-in-london/100-years-strong/cressida-dick/https://www.met.police.uk/notices/met/commissioner-statement-working-with-londons-communities-build-further-trust-confidence-police/https://www.police.uk/pu/support-services/support-children-young-people-crime/https://www.gov.uk/if-my-child-gets-in-trouble-with-policeAlso if you need to ask some legal questions and need guidance: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/children-and-young-people/child-abuse/police-involvement/child-abuse-police-involvement/Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our fifth episode, Alma-Constance and Lucinda take a look at the difficult situation of when parents split up. Alma-Constance talks to  Charlotte Bradley, who is a partner and Head of  the Family Law department in a firm of solicitors called Kingsley Napley. Charlotte is also a mediator and has helped  many families sort out their problems and campaigned for the voices of children to be heard  when family relationships break down. She also has personal experience of a divorce herself  and explains how children can be helped through the legal process.Alma -Constance  asks her why lawyers get involved and whether families always  have to go to court. She asks how the opinions of children are heard and who can help  children if they need to make decisions about living or seeing their parents. Charlotte tells us that children can often feel caught in the middle of the  arguments between their parents. She says that it is  important if the child can't tell their parents how they feel that the child finds an adult they trust,  for example  a teacher,  to speak to.  Children should ask if they can speak to a therapist or a counsellor as many schools provide counselling for children precisely to support them through such difficult times.There are also organisations that can help:Childline -  a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. You can  speak to a counsellor every day from 7.30am - 3:30am on weekdays and 9am - 3.30am on weekends. Call free on 0800 1111, or use their 121 chat service NSPCC - helpline Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekend. Call   0808 800 5000Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
What is Justice?

What is Justice?

2021-03-0114:55

Every year there is a justice week - and this year in 2021 it is in the first week of March. The purpose of Justice Week is to help people understand their rights and responsibilities, and how laws are made and changed. But what does justice actually mean?In this episode, Alma-Constance and Lucinda Acland explore this question with Lord Neuberger, a very senior judge who was president of the Supreme Court and is  now a member of the House of Lords.David tells us why justice is important, who is responsible for making sure we have justice in our country and what he thinks would happen if we didn't have justice.He also describes what he was like when he was 10 years old and his journey to becoming a judge, even though he wasn't sure what he wanted to be when when he was younger. He thinks it's very important for young people (and adults too), to understand more about how laws are made and what they mean, so they can make informed decisions such as voting for MPs, who are the ones who make the laws that we all have to obey. David also has encouraging words of advice for young people if they are not sure what career to follow.You can find out more about Justice Week 2021 here:·       https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/campaigns/justice-week·       https://www.youngcitizens.org/the-big-legal-lesson-2021 And read more about the statue of Lady Justice here:·       https://symbolsandsecrets.london/2017/08/10/justice/Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our third episode, Alma-Constance tells Lucinda that she was shocked to find out that when she turns 10 years old, she reaches the age of criminal responsibility.  Alma talks to Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions who is the head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the organisation which decides whether to prosecute a person after considering the evidence given to them by the police.  Max describes what happens if the police need to investigate a situation where a child does something that is very seriously wrong and what happens if the child does need to go to court. Alma-Constance and Max discuss why some children end up committing crimes and the best ways of helping children keep out of trouble and avoiding being influenced and exploited by older people.Max tells Alma -Constance that when he was 10 years old he enjoyed playing with his younger brother, and when grew up he decided he wanted to work in the law to help people get justice for things that have gone wrong. He thinks that everyone should understand more about the laws that affect them. You can read more about the Crown Prosecution Service and Max Hill QC’s work as the Director of Public Prosecutions .Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our second episode,  nine year old Alma-Constance quizzes leading human rights barrister, Adam Wagner of Doughty Street Chambers about  the current Covid 19 laws and  how she can celebrate her upcoming birthday; what the laws mean for children whose parents are separated and why some children are still going to school.Since the beginning of the pandemic Adam has been explaining the often complex and confusing coronavirus regulations on Twitter, You Tube and across TV and Radio.Adam tells Alma-Constance that when he was 10 years old, he wanted to be an astronaut, and why eventually he became a human rights lawyer.Adam set up and hosts the Better Human Podcast. He founded both the multi-award winning human rights charity EachOther and the acclaimed UK Human Rights Blog, and is a sought after legal commentator on social media (@adamwagner1), television and radio. He set up and hosts the Better Human Podcast.Alma-Constance and Lucinda would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media  on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfo You can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
In our first episode, Alma-Constance and Lucinda Acland talk to Lady Brenda Hale about how laws are made and how they are used to help children, when when adults are arguing and children are caught in the middle. Lady Hale tells her story about how she became interested in the way that  laws can be used to make sure that  people are treated fairly; and how she was involved in creating the Children Act, to ensure that the opinions and views of children are heard by adults.Alma-Constance and Lucinda  would love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our episode, and if you've got any questions,  ideas about a topic or someone you'd like us to interview,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media - follow us on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfoYou can also email us: kidslaw@spark21.orgPlease subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!
Welcome to Kids Law!

Welcome to Kids Law!

2020-12-3101:52

Welcome to our KidsLaw podcast, where we discuss children and the laws that affect them as they grow up. In each  monthly episode, your hosts, Alma-Constance Denis-Smith and Lucinda Acland talk to people whose job it is to help and protect children and  discuss with them what children should know and understand about the impact of law in their lives, about keeping safe and  how to make good decisions about their lives.We really want to hear from you . So if you've got any questions, you'd like us to answer,  please  contact us through the website, kidslaw.info  or on social media - follow us on Twitter @KidsLawInfo, Facebook and Instagram @KidsLawInfoWe can't wait to get started. So subscribe, rate, and share with your friends. See you in the next episode!Listen to Kids Law wherever you get your podcasts. 
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