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Title: The rights and responsibilities of children in youth crime
Author: Hollingsworth, K. L.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation examines children’s rights and responsibilities in the area of youth crime within the context of the domestic incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights and the increasing emphasis within Government policy of the need to hold children responsible for their offending behaviour. The mechanisms for securing the responsibility of children within youth crime have widened since the Labour Party was elected to government in 1997, prompting two questions. Firstly, has the increased responsibilisation of children been met by an increased protection of their human rights? Secondly, does an emphasis on responsibility detract from the child’s needs, vulnerabilities and limited competence? It is argued that, in contrast to the child in the family law context, the child in the criminal law holds a dual status: he is both offender and child. This dual status affects the type of rights available to the child, and the way in which those rights are protected. In particular, it is noted that the child’s status varies at different stages of the youth justice process, and that in turn, there is a variation in the type of rights being protected. Specifically, children’s rights theory is drawn on to distinguish the types of rights the child has: rights qua child (clustered around ideas of welfare and care and protection); and rights qua person (shared in common with adults and which are based on notions of autonomy). A broadly sequential approach is taken: first, the pre-crime context and the use of preventative orders is examined, followed by a consideration of the pre-court stage of police investigation and the diversion of young people away from the criminal courts, then the rights of the child in court are explored, and finally attention turns to the sentencing framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available