Source: (2001) Paper presented at the Children, Young People and Communities: The Future Is in Our Hands conference, held in Launceston, Tasmania, 27-28 March. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

A magistrate in Tasmania, Zygmunt Szramka evaluates Tasmania’s The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997 and The Youth Justice Act 1997. Prior to these acts, Tasmanian social and judicial policy toward children at risk was guided by the “welfareâ€? model of child treatment. Over time this approach came under scrutiny and criticism. The two acts of 1997 under consideration in this paper root in and promulgate a justice model with an emphasis on the accountability of young people for their actions. Szramka highlights some basic differences between the welfare model and the justice model in their underlying perspectives. On this basis, he then examines the significance of these two acts – including their communitarian and restorative justice elements – on the role of the court in strengthening families, a key focus of the 1997 legislation.

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