CRAE's Submission to the Carlile Inquiry on the Operation and Effectiveness of the Youth Court
CRAE’s evidence to the inquiry argued that the treatment of children in conflict with the law should reflect children’s human rights in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires a focus on rehabilitation over punishment and cases involving children to be dealt with in a separate and specialist court system. In particular, CRAE is concerned that:
- Far too many children are criminalised, and are subject to formal criminal justice procedures;
- Not enough is done to identify and meet the welfare needs of children coming into contact with the criminal justice system;
- The Crown Court is not child-friendly in its layout, procedures or language, which precludes children’s effective and meaningful participation;
- Children in contact with the criminal justice system are “named and shamed” far too often; and
- The judiciary and legal practitioners have inadequate youth-specific training and expertise.