The introduction of the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016 sought to consolidate the administration of youth justice and bring up to date with other relevant pieces of legislation to reflect best practice in youth justice. It also established the role of Training Centre Visitor, now occupied by Guardian for Children and Young People, Penny Wright.
Like much legislation, it is dense and detailed and, as is frequently the case, the devil is in the detail.
In this paper commissioned by the Child Development Council and the Guardian, Miranda Furness examines the legislation from the point of view of how it affects young people’s wellbeing and best interests, respect and dignity, vulnerability, care and cultural identity. She highlights simple inconsistencies, (what is a ‘youth’?) and significant omissions of definition (what is ‘wellbeing’ and what are ‘best interests?) She considers how the Act relates to other legislation and to international instruments and draws implications for the work of the Child Development Council, the Training Centre Visitor and the Guardian.
You can read this concise and important paper on the Guardian’s website now.