MA National Conference and Awards Dinner


Saturday 19 October 2019, Crowne Plaza Stratford Upon Avon, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR


At the conference you will have the opportunity to network with magistrates from around the country; hear from key figures in law, government, and the criminal justice system; participate in thought-provoking breakout sessions; and meet MA officers and staff. We have also introduced new conference features, including topical panel discussions and lightning talks!

The theme of this year's conference is THE CHANGING FACE OF JUSTICE.

Please join us for an interactive look at the future of the magistracy against the backdrop of the wider justice system. The conference will be immediately followed by the annual MA Awards Dinner.

Keynote Speakers

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family DivisionSir Andrew McFarlane became the President of the Family Division on 28 July 2018. He was called to the Bar in 1977 and took Silk (Queen's Counsel) in 1998. He was appointed a Recorder in 1995, a Deputy High Court Judge in 2000 and a High Court Judge in the Family Division in 2005.

He co-wrote Children Law and Practice which coincided with the enactment of the Children Act 1989 in 1991, and he has been noted for his speeches and lectures around the country on all aspects of child law.

His expertise resulted in his selection as the only legal member of the Family Justice Review (Norgrove) and as the judicial representative for the current sector-led review financed by the Nuffield. The review is due to report this summer.

Sir Andrew has held or holds leadership posts including Chairman of the Family Law Bar Association, Chairman of the Clergy Discipline Commission and President of the Clergy Disciplines Tribunals. He was Family Division Liaison Judge for the Midland circuit until his appointment as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2011 where he is the Supervising Lord Justice for Family Cases.

He will be sharing his views on the current challenges facing the family justice system and what future reforms may be required.

Lady Justice Macur, Senior Presiding Judge

Dame Julia Macur was called to the Bar in 1979, and was a practicing barrister in the Midland and Oxford Circuit between 1979 and 2005. In 1998 she was appointed Queen’s Counsel, and was Assistant Recorder and then Recorder of the Crown Court between 1995 and 2005, when she was appointed Judge of the High Court of Justice (Family Division). She was Presiding Judge of the Midland Circuit between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2011.

In November 2012, she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice and the Secretary of State for Wales to the North Wales Child abuse inquiry.

She was appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal on 31 July 2013.

Lady Justice Macur was appointed Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales on 1 January 2016. She was appointed Senior Presiding Judge on 3 April 2017.


Panel 1. The changing face of the magistracy: 60 minutes

An exploration of the issues around recruiting full and part time employees to the magistracy, as well as representation of marginalised communities within the magistracy. Of particular interest will be young magistrates, the LGBTQIA community and those with disabilities. The session will also consider how these challenges vary by location - for example rural and urban communities - and how recruitment can ensure a representative magistracy across adult, family and youth court jurisdictions.

Confirmed speakers for this session

Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive and Board member, HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Susan Acland-HoodSusan was previously the Director of Enterprise and Growth at HM Treasury where she was responsible for policies on productivity, growth, business, infrastructure, exports, competition and markets, and for energy and transport spending. Prior to that, she spent two years as Director of Education Funding at the Department for Education, overseeing the comprehensive reform of the capital programme. Susan has also worked extensively on home affairs and justice policy, both at Number 10 and in the Home Office. She has also had senior roles in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and in the Social Exclusion Unit.

As Chief Executive of HMCTS, she is responsible is responsible for overall leadership, the delivery of services, and strategy and vision for the organisation.

Paul Twocock, Interim Chief Executive, Stonewall

Paul Twocock is the Executive Director of Campaigns and Strategy at Stonewall, the UK’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity. Paul works closely with the Executive Team to deliver Stonewall’s vision of acceptance without exception. This includes directing the work of Stonewall’s Campaigns, Policy and Research team, the Communications team, Education and Youth programmes and Global Programmes, as well as overseeing Stonewall Scotland and Stonewall Cymru.   

Paul joined Stonewall in October 2015, and was previously Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research. Before Stonewall, Paul worked in a range of campaigns, communications and public affairs roles in the public and voluntary sectors in the UK, including leading PR and stakeholder communications at youth cancer charity, CLIC Sargent, and heading up media, campaigns and policy at older people support charity, the Royal Voluntary Service.

Karen Quinn: Chair of Triple A (All About Autism)

Karen Quinn, Chair of Triple A (All About Autism)Karen Quinn joined the West London Bench in 2010 before transferring to the North and West Cumbria Bench in 2016.

Since 2015, Karen has worked as a Senior Project Manager for the National Autistic Society (NAS). She is responsible for the project delivery and re-provision of services across NAS's adult and education services. Prior to this, Karen served as an Officer in the Royal Air Force and was deployed on operations. Karen has an MA (Hons) degree in Social Policy and Law and an MSc in European Social Policy and Law. Outside of work Karen is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Triple A (All About Autism) – a charity that provides a pathway of support for autistic adults focussing on criminal and social justice as well as social support.

As an autistic person, Karen is passionate about helping raise awareness and working towards reducing the inequalities and challenges faced by autistic individuals. She hopes that her experience as a magistrate with an autism diagnosis can help highlight the issues faced by autistic people as they attempt to navigate the criminal and justice system.

Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Founder of Diverse Matters

Natasha is the founder and Director of Diverse Matters, a diversity and inclusion consultancy that works with organisations to embed diversity and inclusion within their practices.

Prior to setting up Diverse Matters, she was the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Victim Support, leading the organisation to become a Stonewall top 100 employer, achieve the ‘Leaders in Diversity’ and ‘Investors in Diversity’ accreditation from the National Centre for Diversity and the charity was the first national charity to achieve ‘Leaders in Diversity’ status. She held operation roles there including Area Director and Area Manager working with criminal justice agencies and ensuring that victims and witnesses received an equitable service. Natasha achieved further recognition through being shortlisted in both the 2015 ‘Excellence in Diversity Awards’ and ‘National Diversity Awards’ in the ‘Diverse Company’ category. Victim Support has also recently been shortlisted for the Pink News Equality Award (June 2018).

Natasha has developed a wide range of diversity and inclusion programmes to companies nationally that focused on areas including unconscious bias, disability/mental health and embedding diversity and inclusion, supporting diverse communities and LGBT+ training.

She currently carries out Associate roles for Pearn Kandola, Business Disability Forum (BDF), National Centre for Diversity (NCD), Irish Centre for Diversity and Righttrack learning consultancy. Board roles include the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners (IEDP) and Advisory board for Supporting Justice.

Natasha was the winner of Stonewall Cmyru's LGBT+ 'Ally of the Year' Award 2018 and Runner up/Special mention - National Centre for Diversity 2016 'Inspirational person award’.

Shaun Delaney: Volunteering Development Manager, NCVO

Shaun is volunteering development manager at NCVO, overseeing strategy for the development of volunteering and volunteer management good practice in England. He joined NCVO following five years as Head of Volunteering at Samaritans, leading the involvement of 20,000 volunteers across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Before that he was with Volunteer Centre Greenwich supporting 300+ local organisations to involve volunteers, as well as supporting London Olympic/Paralympic related volunteer programmes including Team London Ambassadors. He is also currently a vice chair of London Plus, supporting volunteering and voluntary organisations in the capital.


Panel 2. Interactions between inequality and justice: 60 minutes

An exploration of how a range of factors such as race, class, and gender may shape or determine differences in the way individuals interact with both criminal and family courts.

The panel will look at how inequality impacts on offending, victimisation, case processing, and outcomes, as well as how family issues are dealt with; how to address disparities in various phases of the judicial process (e.g. arrest, sentencing, and family hearings) and pathways into offending and victimisation; and discuss ways to engage more critically in how the justice system embodies, perpetuates, and transforms existing social inequalities such as race, class, and gender.

Confirmed speakers for this session

Dr Alpa Parmar

Alpa ParmarDr Alpa Parmar read Social and Political Sciences as an undergraduate at Cambridge and also completed her doctorate at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, in which she empirically examined perceptions of Asian criminality in the UK. Her PhD was part of the Peterborough Adolescent Development Study which is an ongoing longitudinal project in the UK.

Following completion of her PhD, Alpa held a British Academy Postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Law at King's College London during which she researched police stop and search practices under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the consequences of counter-terrorist polices for minority ethnic groups - particularly British Asian people. Theoretically her research considers the implications of security practices upon notions of belonging and ethnic identity, and experiences of multi-cultural citizenry. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Alpa was a visiting scholar at Berkeley, University of California, at which time she conducted a comparative policing study on stop and search and stop and frisk. Her book Crime and the Asian Community is forthcoming (Oxford University Press) and her recent publications include 'Configuring Ethnic Identities: resistance as a response to counter-terrorist policy' (2014) in New Directions in Race, Ethnicity and Crime. Alpa's research focuses on the intersections between race, gender and criminalization and her current research projects explore the policing of migration in the UK and minority ethnic life stories of offending. Alpa is also interested in the intersection of securitization and race its consequences for people crossing borders across the world.

Alpa was appointed as a non-judicial member of the Sentencing Council in April 2018. The Sentencing Council is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Ministry of Justice which has responsibility for developing sentencing guidelines.

Katrina Ffrench: Chief Executive of Stopwatch

Katrina Ffrench, Chief Executive of StopwatchKatrina was appointed in May 2018 as StopWatch's first chief executive. StopWatch is a research and action organisation that promotes fair, effective and accountable policing – specifically around the use of stop and search. Since being in post Katrina has overseen the publication of Being Matrixed: the (over)policing of gang suspects in London, The Colour of Injustice: 'Race', drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales, and Call It Off Are police searching mobile phones illegally?

Katrina read Social and Political Science at the University of Cambridge and graduated in 2009. Studying Social and Political Sciences at university further fuelled her interest in law, politics, psychology and sociology. Katrina possesses a great understanding about the interconnectedness and complexities of these areas. She is passionate about youth work, social equality and criminal justice. She enjoys assisting people with their personal development and identifying ways to enhance their life.

During her professional career, Katrina has worked for multiple charities and local authorities, gaining a wealth of political and charitable experience. Since 2015 Katrina has actively volunteered her time to provide community scrutiny to the policing power of stop and search; she was the chair of the Islington Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group for three years. Katrina has experience of sitting on local community partnerships and was an executive member of the Islington Safer Neighbourhood Board. She has also held the vice-chair and chair positions on the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime Pan-London Stop and Search Community Monitoring Network.

Polly Harrar, Founder of The Sharan Project

Polly Harrar, Founder of The Sharan ProjectThe Sharan Project is a registered national charity supporting South Asian women in the UK who have been or are at risk of being disowned/ostracised by their families or communities due to harmful practices to include, but not limited to forced marriage, honour based abuse, domestic violence and cultural conflict.

Polly has been supporting women for over 20 years and has extensive experience of the wide range of harmful practices faced by women and the barriers and challenges they face in seeking support. She has personally supported over 500 women on issues ranging from forced marriage, homelessness, asylum and immigration matters, honour based abuse (HBA), persecution due to sexual orientation, domestic violence, child protection, repatriation, female genital mutilation, mental health, substance misuse and cultural conflict.

As a recognised expert in her field, Polly is often called upon to deliver training, workshops and talks as well as give evidence as a court expert on forced marriages and honour based abuse. She is a member of the Forced Marriage Unit Partnership Board, panel member for the Children's Commissioner's Inquiry looking into child sexual abuse within the familial environment and lead partner of the national Our Girl campaign funded by Comic Relief.

In 2013 Polly was highly commended at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards for her social and humanitarian work, and named in the Independent on Sunday's 100 Happy List. In 2015, she was recognised at the IKWRO True Honour Award for her work to prevent honour based abuse, nominated for the English Asian Business Awards and the National Diversity Awards and received the GG2 Spirit in the Community Award. She was recently presented with the Points of Light award by former Prime Minister David Cameron on International Women's Day 2016 for her charitable work, awarded Charity Initiative of the Year at the British Indian Awards, Diva of Colour and Lift Effects Top 100 Star Awards.

Carolyn Housman, CEO Children and Families across Borders
Carolyn is CEO of Children and Families Across Borders, the UK branch of International Social Service, which reunites vulnerable children separated from their families across international borders.  She chairs the UK Cross-border Child Safeguarding Working Group and is a member of the UK Kinship Care Alliance, the BME Migrant Advisory Group and the Global Action on Relocation and Return with Kids.  

Previously, she was CEO of Heart of the City, the UK’s largest responsible small business network, where she worked alongside the Governor of the Bank of England and the Lord Mayor of London to harness business expertise for community development.  She has worked for Amnesty International, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and the Washington Office on Latin America as well as for the UK and American governments.   She holds a BSc in International Law, Organisations and Ethics (Georgetown University), an MSc in International Relations (London School of Economics) and an MBA (Cass Business School).
Her latest research includes Minimising Placement Breakdowns in International Family Placements (2018), Safeguarding Children in Need of Protection Who Travel Abroad (2018) and Cross-Border Child Safeguarding: Challenges, Effective Solutions, Practice and Outcomes for Children (2018).

Paul Dillane: David Davies of Llandinam Fellow in International Relations, LSE; Member, UK Government LGBT Advisory Panel; Signatory, Yogyakarta Principles plus 10

Paul Dillane is a human rights expert with 16 years' experience specialising in advancing the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons at the domestic, regional and international level.

Paul began his career in asylum and immigration law before serving as Refugee Researcher/Advisor at Amnesty International UK and Executive Director of UKLGIG, the UK's national LGBTI asylum NGO. Until June 2019, Paul was Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust, the UK's leading international LGBT+ NGO, and Head of the Secretariat of The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) - comprising 53 NGOs in 45 countries, TCEN is the only LGBT+ initiative accredited to The Commonwealth. In this capacity, he spearheaded the Network's participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018, which resulted in the UK Prime Minister's landmark statement of 'deep regret' for Britain's role in exporting discriminatory anti-LGBT laws during its colonial past.

Paul is an internationally recognised specialist in the right to seek asylum on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and sex characteristics. In this capacity, he has worked as a consultant and trainer for organisations including ILGA Europe, UNHCR, Transgender Europe and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and provided capacity-building training to judges, officials, lawyers and civil society activists. He has conducted research into the assessment of asylum claims on the basis of SOGIESC in refugee status determination processes and documented human violations against LGBT asylum seekers in immigration detention and places of accommodation. He has served as an expert witness in a range of asylum and extradition cases.

In a voluntary capacity, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee and Bursary Officer of the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), a member of the Coordination Group of Detention Forum - a civil society coalition campaigning against indefinite immigration detention, and, a trustee of Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC). He is currently is a member of the Advisory Board of EUROUT, Europe's leading initiative dedicated to empowering the next generation of LGBT+ business leaders. 

BREAKOUTS – 60 minutes each

1. Stalking: led by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Suzy Lamplugh Trust logoThe Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded by Diana and Paul Lamplugh following the disappearance of their daughter Suzy, a young estate agent, in 1986. Since then, the Trust has pioneered personal safety as a life skill and a public policy priority.

The mission of the Trust is to raise awareness of personal safety through training and various projects, to help people avoid becoming victims of aggression, and to offer counselling and support to relatives and friends of missing people. The Trust runs the UK's National Stalking Helpline and organises National Personal Safety Day.

2. New General guideline and Expanded Explanations - Led by the Sentencing Council

Sentencing Council logoThe Sentencing Council for England and Wales was set up to promote greater transparency and consistency in sentencing, while maintaining the independence of the judiciary. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Ministry of Justice and replaced the Sentencing Guidelines Council and the Sentencing Advisory Panel in April 2010.

The primary role of the Council is to issue guidelines on sentencing which the courts must follow unless it is in the interests of justice not to do so.

3. What is the role of the courts in responding to social/societal problems?

This session will look at the trend towards the criminalisation of activities that would previously not have been regarded as crimes, including issues around hate crime online and freedom of speech, coercive and controlling behaviour, substance abuse and so on.

Confirmed speakers for this session

Mary Ryan, Family Drug and Alcohol Courts

Mary Ryan is an independent consultant with an expertise in public law, social work and social policy. Her work includes policy development, research and evaluation and project management. She is a lawyer who, when in practice, specialised in public law relating to families and children. She was the legal advisor of Family Rights Group and its joint chief executive from 1982-96. Since then she has worked as an independent consultant and researcher for Ryan Tunnard Brown. Her recent work has included research into the Family Drug and Alcohol Court.

At the Magistrates Association Annual Conference, Mary Ryan will be speaking about her work in setting up Family Drug and Alcohol Courts and how successful they are in offering a multi-disciplinary approach.

Professor Peter Squires, Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Professor Squires is a Professor of Criminology and Public Policy and leads the Criminology Research and Enterprise Group. He undertook his first degree and PhD at Bristol University, receiving his PhD in 1985. He now teaches at University of Brighton and has helped to develop the schools criminology curriculum. The central focus of his work is exploring criminalisation, inequality and social control. His core areas of research and teaching revolve around policing and police use of force, gun crime, firearms control, youth crime, gangs and anti-social behaviour. When teaching or conducting research, Professor Squires’ dialogue revolves around justice and how to advance justice.
As an active researcher, Professor Squires is regularly contacted by national and international news media organisations to comment on current issues of law and order. He was co-opted as an advisor to the police national advisory group on the criminal use of firearms in and in 2015 was elected as the President of the British Society for Criminology. In total, Peter has written, co-written or edited 12 books.
Professor Squires will be speaking about the use of state power to criminalise appropriately as a response to anti-social behaviour, and where the role of courts fits in to both scrutinise and enforce police actions.

Phil Bowen, Director, Centre for Justice Innovation

Phil BowenPhil sets and leads the work and overall strategy of the Centre for Justice Innovation. Prior to this role, Phil spent the majority of his career in the British civil service. He worked for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, before working at HM Treasury and Cabinet Office as a delivery adviser to the Prime Minister on criminal justice reform. During his time in the civil service, he spent 14 months on secondment to the Center for Court Innovation in New York, working at Bronx Community Solutions.

He will be speaking about problem solving courts in criminal justice, with a particular focus on the role of judges in monitoring community sentences, and how that can benefit the effectiveness of community sentences in addressing underlying causes of offending.

4. Innovations and technology in justice

This session will look at the future of technology in the UK, exploring its potential impact on magistrates and the justice system as a whole.

Confirmed speakers for this session

Dr Paul Dawson, Head of Research at Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) 

Dr Paul Dawson is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.  He has worked in the NHS (five years), Home Office (five years), and Metropolitan Police Service (six years) all prior to joining the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) in 2014.  
He is currently the Head of Evidence and Insight at MOPAC – this is an internally based research unit comprised of over 20 analysts and researchers with the aim of conducting a wide ranging analytics programme to the benefit of crime, justice and policy making in London.  

Evidence and Insight is the largest dedicated civilian research team based within a police force or PCC in the country. Their work focuses on social research and evaluation, survey design, performance and data visualisation and developing a network of academics linked to MOPAC. One of Dr Dawson’s roles was to develop a performance framework for MOPAC that sought to drive a more sophisticated conversation around success. This involved moving away from blunt crime targets and blanket volume offence groupings.
At the Magistrates Association Annual Conference, Dr Dawson will be speaking about the use of Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirements-specifically the review of the pilot carried out in London.

Dr Daragh Murray, Senior Lecturer, Essex University School of Law

Dr Julie Doughty, Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University, trustee and founder member of The Transparency Project

Dr Julie Doughty is a Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, where she teaches and researches in family law, social care law and media law.  She is a trustee of The Transparency Project, a charity that aims to make family courts clearer, mainly through writing blog posts about newly published judgments and family justice topics that are in the news. In this way, members of the public can better understand how family courts work.
The Project aims to correct inaccurate media stories and occasionally pursues complaints against the publisher or regulator. There are also a number of guidance notes, written in plain English, on the website, for example on the procedure if there are allegations of domestic abuse.
Dr Doughty is a co-author of ‘Transparency in the Family Courts: Publicity and Privacy in Practice (Doughty, Reed and Magrath, Bloomsbury 2018), a handbook for lawyers, journalists and other professionals. This book includes a chapter on dealing with the internet and social media.
Last year, The Transparency Project asked the Family Procedure Rule Committee to consider allowing legal bloggers the same rights to attend family court hearings as are currently allowed to journalists. This request led to the legal bloggers pilot, in Family Procedure Rules Practice Direction 36J, under which certain lawyers (unconnected to the case) are permitted into private family court hearings and may ask to write about them online.
Prior to her academic work, Julie practised as a solicitor and worked for local authorities and for Cafcass.

Event programme



11:00 Welcome and introduction to the morning session
11:05 Panel: The changing face of the magistracy
12:05 Keynote Speaker 1
12:35 Lunch
13:20 Breakouts set 1: Sentencing Council AND Suzy Lamplugh Trust led sessions
14:20 Breakouts set 2: What is the role of the courts in tackling social problems? AND Innovations and technology in justice
15:20 Break
15:30 Panel: Interactions between inequality and justice
16:30 Keynote Speaker 2
17:00 Close