Source: (2011) Journal of Criminal law. 75(1): 45-69.

The referral order (RO) is the volume sentence in youth justice. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (CJIA) made important changes to the use of ROs for young offenders. This article analyses these amendments and evaluates the extent to which they signal a move away from the original rationales for ROs. I argue that the CJIA subtly changes ROs and that this shift broadens the availability of ROs, although the significance of the changes depends in particular on how youth court magistrates view the utility of ROs and restorative justice. (author's abstract)