Juvenile justice in Queensland and Canada : new legislation reflecting new directions

Hutchinson, Terry C. & Smandych, Russell (2005) Juvenile justice in Queensland and Canada : new legislation reflecting new directions. Australasian Canadian Studies, 23(1), pp. 101-148.

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Due to their similar colonial histories and common law heritage, Australia and Canada provide an ideal comparative context for examining legislation reflecting new directions in the field of juvenile justice. Toward this end, this article compares the revised juvenile justice legislation which came into force in Queensland and Canada in 2003 (Canada, Youth Criminal Justice Act, enacted on 19 February 2002 and proclaimed in force 1 April 2003; Queensland, Juvenile Justice Act, amended 2003). There are a series of questions that could be addressed including: How similar and how sweeping have been the legislative changes introduced in each jurisdiction?; What are likely to be some of the effects of the implementation of these new legislative regimes?; and, how well does the legislation enacted in either jurisdiction address the fundamental difficulties experienced by children who have been caught up in juvenile justice systems? This article addresses mainly the first of these questions, offering a systematic comparison of recent Queensland and Canadian legislative changes. Although, due to the recentness of these changes, there is no data available to assess long-term effects, anecdotal evidence and preliminary research findings from our comparative study are offered to provide a start at answering the second question. We also offer critical yet sympathetic comments on the ability of legislation to address the fundamental difficulties experienced by children caught up in juvenile justice systems. Specifically, we conclude that while more than simple legislative responses are required to address the difficulties faced by youth offenders, and especially overrepresented Indigenous young offenders, the amended Queensland and new Canadian legislation appear to provide some needed reforms that can be used to help address some of these fundamental difficulties.

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ID Code: 31677
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 1832-5408
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Criminal Law and Procedure (180110)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand
Deposited On: 08 Apr 2010 22:14
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:31

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