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The concept of the children's court in Tasmania

Cairns, Bernard C.(Bernard Charles) 1973 , 'The concept of the children's court in Tasmania', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The object of this thesis is to study the operation of welfare-orientated
legislation in the juvenile delinquency and child neglect jurisdiction.
Most of the statutes are in similar terms, so the study the been conducted
with reference to the Child Welfare Act 1960 (Tas.). However, the concepts,
as distinct from details of procedure, will often apply more widely and will
be appropriate to other jurisdictions having similar legislation.
Generally, the approach has been to examine the actual operation of the
statute, from the inception of tho legal process to the completion of any
order that may be made by the Children's Court. This includes not only the
judicial role of the Court, but also the execution of the order by an
executive agency.
Essentially the child welfare legislation aims to remove children from
the processes of the ordinary criminal law. A child is to be treated as
misguided and in need assistance. The Children's Court must look to his
future welfare as the primary consideration in sentencing. Conceptually it
is similar to the parene patriae doctrine of the ancient Chancery jurisdiction
over children, but with the important distinction that the modern Children's
Court is a creature of statue and has only the power conferred by statute.
If the Court is to fulfill the aim of this concept it must dispense personal-
ized justice. In each case the order mat met the individual circumstances
of the child defendant.
For the achievement of this goal, the statute provides for simple
discharge without the recording of a conviction, the imposition of supervision
orders, which may be conditional and finally for declaration of the child as
a ward of the State. If the Court is uncertain as to the course it should
adopt and requires further information, the child may be remanded in care for
up to three month for further assessment. This thesis examines the
operation of each of these orders in regard to both dilinquent and neglected
children. It follows that if the order is to be peculiar to the needs of
each defendant the court must have enough background information about the
defendant to make the appropriate assessment. Social backqround investigation
and reports are therefore an integral part of the juvenile justice.
system. The nature of these reports is considered together with their legal
status. Of special interest in this context is considered, together they should be
revealed to the parties concerned. · This problem is also examined.
The thesis then proceeds to a study of the manner in which the order,
once made, is put into effect by the executive agency, namely, the Department
of Social Welfare. This includes both residential and non-residential care
and the legal status and rights of the child parents during the operation
o£ the programme.. It may be thought that the personality and rights of both
child and parents are subrogated to the unfettered control and discretion of the public service department. This aspect or the system has also been studied.
Since the report of the Kilbrandon committee in 1964, the idea of the
juvenile panel has received extensive consideration and has actually been
introduced in South Australia. This system is examined and compared with the
traditional judicial system. Another innovation is the family court concept.
This has also been studied and compared with the system created by the Child Welfare act.
Chapter 7 sets out the conclusions of the study, that whilst the
Children's court system is not free from defects, it is the most preferable
of the alternatives yet available

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Cairns, Bernard C.(Bernard Charles)
Keywords: Juvenile courts
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1973 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (LL.M)--University of Tasmania, 1974. Includes bibliographical references. Bibliography: p. 223-225

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