Neelam is an official CPDcast contributor and contributes to the following podcasts:
Neelam Sarkaria is an experienced criminal practitioner and was called to the Bar in 1988. She now works as an independent criminal justice consultant and has been sitting as a fee-paid tribunal judge since 2006.
In her current role she is working with non-government organisations to develop their capability. Neelam has also been appointed as an honorary lecturer in English Law at Aberdeen University.
Neelam has worked in the areas of immigration, tax and crime including criminal justice reform. She worked for the CPS for 24 years where she performed a range of operational and strategic roles in London, Hertfordshire, across Whitehall and in CPS HQ. For the last fifteen years she has drawn on her ‘what works’ criminal justice experience to bring about key reform to improve the operation of the criminal justice system. This has involved working with the then Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, the Home Office and the Attorney General’s Office.
From August 2010 to March 2015 Neelam led the key violence against women and girls policy development and training for the CPS as the Head of the Criminal Justice Unit. She has developed and delivered the strategy and policy for female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, honour-based violence, child sexual abuse, domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, rape, coroners, negligent homicide and vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. This has involved working across government and the third sector. Neelam has made a significant contribution to the FGM agenda by producing key legislation papers which have resulted in the successful introduction of new legislation for FGM. She has since continued to highlight where future improvements can be made.
As the current Chair (and formerly co-Chair for two years) of the Association of Women Barristers Neelam has continued to highlight the inequality that women and girls face in our society. She has set up and facilitated a number of seminars focusing on women in the criminal justice system in relation to prostitution, the Rochdale experience, FGM and child sexual abuse, forced marriage and honour-based violence.
In November 2012 Neelam published an article in Counsel Magazine asking whether it was time for the first FGM prosecution. She also recently arranged the Combatting FGM Workshop at the General Council of the Bar Conference in November 2014, and has also recently published articles for the International Family Law, Policy and Practice Journal regarding the impact of FGM cases on the family court, and on the subject of the use of special measures in the family court.
Neelam is also the Criminal Justice Advisor to the Desert Flower Foundation (UK), an international FGM charity committed to the eradication of FGM.
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