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Lecture 9

Sociology 2267A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Best Interests, World Forum For Harmonization Of Vehicle Regulations

Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Tara L Fidler- Bruno

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Progressive Responses to Youth
Why do young people get involved in the drug trade?
- want to make real money
- quick and easy
• There have been positive developments in the juvenile justice policy field
• BUT there are challenges that are still ahead in the attempt to determine the most
appropriate means of intervening in the lives of troubled youth
The Legal Regulation of Childhood and Adolescence:
• The law that regulates criminal conduct for children and youth is based on a binary
system, where the state focuses on the protection of children until such time as they
cross the threshold, known as the age of majority, to adulthood
• Problem with binary system, which focuses on immature children and competent
adults, is that there is no way to include evolving capacities of children as they mature in
• Best interests of the child doctrine appears to be in direct opposition to increasing
trend toward adulteration of youth crime throughout world
Best interests of the child doctrine: When the interests of a young person are
paramount in decision making regarding his or her experience in the criminal
justice system
Adulteration: Dismantling of distinct system of criminal justice for youth and
remerging with systems of justice for adults
• Increased criminal justice processing of youth runs counter to reduction of youth crime
Codification of a Separate System of Youth Justice in Canada:
• International treaties and conventions bearing on the legal rights of children and youth
that Canada has agreed to:
• The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Youth Justice,
known as the Bei-jing Rules (1985)
• Includes recognition of special needs of young people, that custody
should be last resort, and that proceedings should be anonymous to
protect child from lifelong stigma or labelling
• UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
• With the enactment of the YCJA, Canada now has an explicit domestic law which
states that there should be separate justice systems for youth and adults
• Canada finally meeting international obligations to all children who have committed
Sustaining the Original Purpose of a Separate System of Youth Justice:
• Shifts in thinking and debate over the purpose of the youth justice system in Canada
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