1st Edition

Responses to Serious Offending by Children Principles, Practice and Global Perspectives

Edited By Nessa Lynch, Yannick van den Brink, Louise Forde Copyright 2022
    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the principles, practice and challenges in determining justice system responses to serious offending by children globally.

    Divided into four parts, the book provides a balance of theoretical and empirical insights. Anchored in a theoretical framework based on the human rights of children, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it considers the relationship between scientific evidence (such as brain development) and the human rights framework, before going to explore the diversity of responses to children who are found responsible for serious offences. It brings together experts from various disciplines to fill a gap relating to serious offending by children in the literature. Scholars from Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as Europe, North America and Oceania provide perspectives from legally, socially and culturally distinct jurisdictions. The first part focuses on the theoretical framework and explores the applicable standards and principles, including the relevant human rights framework and penological approaches to sentencing children for serious crimes. The second part analyses available empirical evidence, including evidence relating to the profiles of children who commit serious crimes, child and adolescent development, effective sentencing approaches and evidence of disparities in responses to serious offending by children. The third part provides a discussion of justice system responses to serious offending by children in a range of jurisdictions or regions with diverse and distinct legal, social and cultural contexts. Finally, the book uses the theoretical framework, empirical evidence, and case studies of jurisdictions to reflect on how principles relating to responses to serious offending by children can be translated into practice, and to highlight key debates and issues that will need to be explored into the future.

    Adding much-needed international perspectives to the scholarship addressing the issue, this book will be of great interest to academics, students, legal practitioners and social work professionals working on youth justice and children’s rights across the globe.

    1. Introduction

    Nessa Lynch, Yannick van den Brink, Louise Forde


    2. International Children’s Rights Principles and Responses to Serious Offending by Children

    Recent developments, topical issues and global challenges

    Ursula Kilkelly, Ton Liefaard

    3. Punishing Children: The Application of Sentencing Theory and Principles to Children Who Offend

    Ingun Fornes


    4. Profiles of Children Who Commit Serious Offences

    Jerome Reil, Ian Lambie

    5. A Developmental Perspective on Children Who Commit Serious Violent Offences: From Science to Standards

    Eva Schmidt, Ann Skelton

    6. Effective Sentences for Children Who Commit Serious Offences – What Does the Evidence Tell Us?

    Jessica Asscher, Hanneke Creemers

    7. Disparities in Responses to Children Who Commit Serious Offences: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?

    Yannick van den Brink, Louise Forde, Patricia Burghout, Daphne Beljaars


    8. Australia & New Zealand – Penal Responses to Children Who Commit Homicide: A View From the Southern Hemisphere

    Faith Gordon, Nessa Lynch

    9. Brazil – Children Who Commit Serious Crimes in Brazil: An Overview of the Juvenile Justice System's Response

    Eduardo Rezende Melo

    10. China – China’s Responses to Minors Who Commit Serious Crimes

    Ting He, Lida Wang

    11. Ghana – Indigenous Legal Principles and Child Rights: Reflections on Responses to Serious Offending by Children in Ghana

    Emmanuel A. Sowatey and Mabel Ama Pinkrah

    12. India – "Defeating the Ends of Juvenile Justice?": An Exploration of the Juvenile Justice Law in India and its Implications for Children Who Commit Serious Offences

    Bharti Ali, Enakshi Ganguly

    13. Iran – Criminal Responses to Serious Violent Crimes in Child Justice System in Iran

    Maryam Abachi

    14. Northwestern Europe – Responses to Serious Offending by Children in Northwestern Europe

    Eva Huls, Stephanie Rap, Yannick van den Brink

    15. South Africa - Responding to Children Who Commit Serious Offences: The South African Approach

    Stephan Terblanche

    16. United States - Responses to Children Who Commit Serious Offending in the United States

    Marsha Levick, Susan Vivien Mangold,


    17. Towards Principled and Evidence-Based Practices – Advancing the Agenda

    Louise Forde, Yannick van den Brink, Nessa Lynch


    Nessa Lynch is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her primary research interest is the criminal law and the criminal justice system as it applies to children and young persons. She has published books, chapters and journal articles on issues in youth justice; particularly around principled approaches to children and youth who commit very serious offences such as murder. She has a strong interest in the academic – policy interface and is regularly called on to advise government.

    Yannick van den Brink is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a Rubicon Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, United Kingdom. He publishes and teaches widely on themes related to youth justice, criminal justice, criminology, children’s rights and human rights. In addition to his academic work, Van den Brink serves as a deputy judge in the Youth Court of the District Court of The Hague.

    Louise Forde is a Lecturer in Law at Brunel University London. Her primary research interests lie in the area of children’s rights law and youth justice. She has published journal articles and book chapters on a variety of issues relating to youth justice, and has authored reports for bodies such as Save the Children, the Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Policing Authority (Ireland). She has worked with government and advocacy groups to promote the realisation of children’s rights in youth justice systems. She is a member of the editorial board of Youth Justice: An International Journal.