Children who appear in court to answer charges are "being left to flounder" because they do not understand what is going on, the head of an inquiry into youth justice said.
Lord Carlile hit out at the British justice system for its "disengagement and lack of comprehension" with young people. He said:
Too often children are being left to flounder in court with little understanding of what is happening to them.
Nowhere is this disengagement and lack of comprehension more obvious than in the Crown Court.
Even with determined special measures to make the court more child-friendly, there is strong evidence that an appearance in the Crown Court for a child is a negative and terrifying experience.
Where possible, children should not be taken before a court, and Crown Court appearances for under-18s should be the rare exception.
More top news
Liverpool edged an epic penalty shootout to beat Middlesbrough and progress to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
The world famous musical, which has been running on Broadway since 1997, has broken records earning more than £2.8 billion.
There will be wet weather around tonight with rain drifting from north to south which will lead to scattered showers tomorrow morning.