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Juvenile conferencing and restorative justice in Tasmania

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Prichard, J (2004) Juvenile conferencing and restorative justice in Tasmania. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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PDF (Front matter)
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PDF (Introduction and chapters 1-4)
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PDF (Chapters 5-8)
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PDF (References)
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PDF (Whole thesis)
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Abstract

This thesis concerns recent innovations in the way that criminal justice systems deal with
young offenders, namely through a process that is sometimes generically referred to as
'juvenile conferencing'. Juvenile conferences have been instituted across Australia and in
numerous other countries. Empirical research was conducted in Tasmania, a small island
State of Australia with a population of less than half a million people. Australia is a
federation of six States (Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South
Australia, and Western Australia) and two territories (the Australian Capital Territory and
the Northern Territory). On European settlement of Tasmania (then Van Diemen's
Land) the English common law was adopted and applied. It was later modified by the
Governor on the advice of the Legislative Council and later the Parliament of Van
Diemen's Land. With Federation in 1901 the Commonwealth was not granted an
express power to legislate on criminal law matters. Consequendy, the States retained
primary responsibility for their own criminal laws. The main sources of criminal law that
concern this thesis are Tasmania's Criminal Code (established under the Ctitninal Code Act
1924 (Tas) and other State legislation, particularly the Youth Justice Act 1997 (Tas).
The timing of the beginning of the research was fortunate. It began in January 2000, one
month before Tasmania's youth justice system was completely restructured with the
proclamation of the Youth Justice Act 1997 (Tas). Previously the police had two options
when dealing with young offenders who had admitted to an offence: to caution the youth
and not proceed with the matter, or to refer the matter to the children's court. The Act
introduced a four-tiered system involving informal cautions, formal cautions, community
conferences, and the children's court. The first two tiers, the informal and formal
cautions, are processes conducted by the police. Formal cautions are held at police
stations and usually include the offender's parents. Unlike any other Australian formal
cautioning system, victims can attend formal cautions in Tasmania. Formal cautions can
result in the young offender agreeing to complete undertakings, including up to 35 hours
community service and actions to repair the damage caused to the victim. Community
conferences, the third tier, are based on a format developed in New Zealand called family
group conferences. Both fonnal cautions and community conferences can deal with
quite serious offences, such as sexual assault, wounding, and grievous bodily harm.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 00:58
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:06
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