The politicization of youth justice in Scotland and the rise of the “Burberry Court”

Laura Piacentini, Reece Walters

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    25 Citations (Scopus)


    In 2003, the youth justice system in Scotland entered a new phase with the introduction of a pilot youth court. The processing of persistent 16 and 17 year old (and serious 15 year olds) represented a stark deviation from a ‘child centred’ and needs-oriented state apparatus for dealing with young offenders to one based on deeds and individual responsibility. This article, based on an evaluation funded by the Scottish Executive, is the first to provide a critical appraisal of this youth justice reform. It examines the views of the judiciary and young offenders and reveals that the pilot youth court in Scotland represents a punitive excursion that poses serious concerns for due process, human rights and net widening.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-59
    Number of pages16
    JournalYouth Justice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • children's hearing
    • youth court pilot
    • net widening
    • punitiveness

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