I am totally prepared to start a campaign if there is not one to support ASD Adults going to court on criminal convictions. There are NO specialist solicitors. The Police are dreadful not trained completely for ASD. The courts need to improve advocate support inside then just a solicitor alone then generally get guilty pleas instead of looking at the whole. ASD sadly do not always have a voice and always go along with solicitors bad advice. I would like to see solicitors and courts support cases where ASD and social isolation to be taken seriously in any charges and always seek reports as protocol when is known ASD person is before the courts. Can anyone help me know how to improve the system where guilty pleas are forced then the truth and innocence is lost due to ASD going along with early guilty pleas when innocent to criminal convictions then the entire?
The Courts, Tribunals and legal advocates do already have access to this guidance:
I personally think the guidance is very good, but that the issue arises more in regard to it actually being implemented during cases.
Thanks for the link. I know people who have looked for specialist solicitors for adults with ASD and learning disabilities training of care act ....to find none available in the local areas. Perhaps it's poor duty of care by the solicitors, where the courts do not acknowledge ASD due to this? Arresting officers were informed, but covered and lied in reports to CPS. Had complained to IPCC, who came back with a report more putting down defendant and family, then actually investigating the lack of duty of care. ASD and learning disabilities are easy pickings by the looks of things sadly. We have Asperger's Adults pleading guilty to things without support! Early guilty pleas are drummed into all on posters in the courts, then support posters. This encouraging early guilty pleas are not a fair trial. Mitigation seems thrown out of the window and not spoke about because of this. Unfair when this happens. Where are the specialist solicitors? They are needed.
I see where you are coming from suggesting specialist solicitors, but frankly you can’t expect to have a specialist solicitor for every disability and therefore would that be fair for all?
All solicitors and Courts are already bound by the Equality Act, so they do have to make reasonable adjustments for your disability. Solicitors usually only do so if you ask for them though or if you make it clear that something is causing you difficulties due to your disability. Courts/Tribunals are supposed to be informed in advance of hearings of any disability and the adjustments that will be required for it.
I suppose though, if the solicitor had not highlighted the issue to the Court, then there is no reason why the disabled person themselves can’t do so, particularly when speaking to the clerks before the hearing. Either way, if you walked in and told the Judge you had a certain disability and it was being ignored in regards to the conduct of the matter then I’m sure the Judge would have to do something about (again due the the Equality Act).
Perhaps, rather than having specialist solicitors (due to practicalities as above), we should ensure that individuals with ASD are aware of guidance such as that I linked to and that they have the opportunity/ability to interject such guidance onto those conducting the proceedings at any relevant time. I suppose you would have to provide medical evidence of your ASD in such circumstances though, just to make sure that anyone couldn’t demand such adjustments.