2018 Autism Awareness for Legal Professionals

2 CPD Hours

Competencies/Learning Objectives - Legal knowledge and skills, Practice management, Working with clients and others, Ethics, Professionalism and Judgement

This course is designed to highlight the particular difficulties faced by people who have an autism spectrum disorder, and to offer legal professionals some insight and understanding into those issues. In addition to helping you to identify the relevant behaviours which can affect those with autism, the course offers practical strategies for dealing with people with autism. The course also highlights useful resources which may assist.

With 1 in 100 people in this country on the autistic spectrum, it is highly likely that every lawyer will come into contact with a person with autism in the course of their work, and an understanding of the condition would be highly beneficial. The Court of Appeal decision in Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v ZH & Others [2013] EWCA Civ 69 highlighted the difficulties when professionals do not have sufficient awareness of autism; this course should go some way to helping legal professionals in this area.

Consideration is also given to case law relating to vulnerable Defendants with autism and Asperger's syndrome and the involvement of registered intermediaries, such as the High Court case of R (on the application of OP) v SoS for Justice & Others [2014] EWHC 1944 and the guidance from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland in Galo v Bombardier Aerospace UK [2016] NICA 235.

Course Updated: January 2018

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Understand what an autism spectrum disorder is.
  • Recognise the particular difficulties faced by people with autism and help you to identify when someone may be experiencing these difficulties.
  • Understand how best to approach someone with autism, to help them to communicate.
  • Understand how special measures and witness intermediaries may be relevant for a person with autism.
  • Find suitable online resources to assist you in your dealings with someone with autism

About the Author:

Amanda Millmore was called to the Bar in 1996 and is currently non-practising. She was previously a tenant in the Chambers of Timothy Raggatt Q.C. at 4 Kings Bench Walk, where she practised in the areas of Family Law, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for 8 years.  In 2015 Amanda joined the School of Law at the University of Reading where she works as a lecturer. Amanda is the parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, and therefore has a particular interest in this area, and the inter-relationship of the legal system and people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Amanda can be found on LinkedIn here.

This course is no longer available for enrolment.


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