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Juvenile Justice - LAWS8105
 Basser Steps

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program must be either 9200, 9210, 9230, 9235, 9285, 5740, 5235, 5285
Excluded: JURD7505
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Allegations that juvenile crime is out of control are frequently made - in the media, in private conversations and in statements made by politicians. The primary aim of this course is to explore the accuracy of these claims. What is the true nature and extent of juvenile offending? How do perceptions of juvenile crime influence the government of young offenders? Is juvenile crime prevention appropriate or effective? Can it be?

LLM Specialisation

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

  • Provide a broad overview of the functioning of the juvenile justice system and its relationship to juvenile offending
  • Provide an understanding of the historical development of juvenile justice as a subset of the criminal justice system
  • Provide an understanding of specific aspects of juvenile justice including policing, community-based corrections and detention centres
  • Examine the broader political determinants surrounding the operation of the juvenile justice system and moral panics in relation to juvenile offending
  • Develop a critical understanding of the link between theory and juvenile justice policy, and to develop an appreciation of the multi-disciplinary nature of criminological explanation

Main Topics

  • Myths, perceptions and realities about the extent and nature of juvenile crime
  • Theories of juvenile offending
  • Juvenile crime prevention
  • NSW juvenile justice laws, policies and practices
  • Issues of gender, race and class
  • Juvenile justice and children's rights
  • The players: children and young people, police, lawyers, magistrates and the Department of Juvenile Justice
  • The future of juvenile justice


Written assignment - Either one essay of 5,000 words, or two essays of 2,5000 words each
Note:  Additional forms of assessment (for example videos, plays, poems etc) are negotiable.

Course Texts


Chris Cunneen and Rob White, Juvenile Justice: an Australian perspective, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1995.


Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer at the beginning of session.

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