Source: (2005) In,Chan, Janet B.L. editor, Reshaping Juvenile Justice. The NSW Young Offenders Act 1997 The institute of Criminology Series No 22, Sydney pp. 187-195

As pointed out in the introduction to this volume, the most innovative aspect of the juvenile justice reform in New South Wales in the late 1990s has been the use of legal rules (the Young Offenders Act) as a way of institutionalizing a fresh approach to juvenile justice. The Act provides a framework for regulating police discretion in deciding whether a young offender should be referred to the Children’s Court or diverted to one of the available options. It also introduces a fine balance between respecting the rights of young offenders and providing justice options that provides healing and reparation for the victims, the young offenders and their communities. In this final chapter, we examine the implementation and outcomes of the YOA more analytically within the literature on the use of legal rules to regulate discretion. The YOA in New South Wales has proven to be a case study pf unique value for understanding how law reform can reshape juvenile justice practices and what its strengths and limitations are. We conclude by discussing briefly the future direction of juvenile justice in New South Wales. (excerpt)