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“Sentencing in the Children’s Court: An Ethnographic Perspective”

Travers, Max
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) The National Association for Youth Justice. 7(1):21-35.

This paper presents findings from an ethnographic study, based on observing hearings
and interviewing practitioners in the Youth Justice Division of the Magistrates’ Court in
Hobart, Tasmania. Although there is a large academic literature by jurists on the
philosophical principles, and social scientists on the attitudinal and institutional factors
shaping court decisions, there have been few studies that examine what actually happens
in the courtroom. This paper argues that much can be learnt about the collaborative
nature of judicial work, the administrative side of decision-making (neglected by most
studies) and the welfare values informing work in this court, through examining
sentencing hearings.


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