The Effective Youth Court

Juvenile Justice Procedures in Europe

Stephanie Rap en Ido Weijers 9789462361126 | 1e druk, 2014


The Effective Youth Court is purpose-made for professionals and academics working in the field of juvenile justice to inform them about a new interdisciplinary perspective. The book explores the way juvenile defendants are involved in the courtroom. The leading idea of the book is that a combination of two perspectives is required to be able to react legally correct and adequately to youth delinquency. Knowledge of the legal framework that has been developed in the past decades in the area of human rights, particularly the procedural rights of the child, has to be enriched with social scientific insights in the development and treatment of the child. First, the book develops a normative framework for the application of the right to be heard in the youth court. Then it offers a comparative analysis of the actual practice of participation of juvenile defendants in Europe. In total 50 youth courts have been visited, involving more than 3000 cases of juvenile defendants. Finally, best practices in the youth court procedure are designated regarding the actual participation of juvenile defendants.

‘This book is a very welcome exception to the traditional attention given to procedural safeguards such as trial by a competent, independent and impartial authority, legal assistance and determination of the matter without delay. It focuses on what happens in the courtroom and gives a very interesting overview of the implementation of the right of the juvenile to be heard in eleven European countries. It emphasizes that hearing the juvenile should be a matter of interaction between the judge and the juvenile defendant, his parents and his lawyer. It concludes with recommendations for improving the juvenile justice practice in the courtroom. It is a must read for all actors involved in the practice of juvenile justice.’

Professor em. Jaap Doek, VU University Amsterdam, former President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

‘This book is an important combination of theory, empirical evidence and practical guidance for students and practitioners of juvenile justice. It is an important book that will help to ensure that child-friendly justice is more widely understood, including among those positioned to effect reform of juvenile justice proceedings in Europe. In this respect, in particular, its publication is most welcome.’
Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Director Child Law Clinic, University College Cork


Lawyers, (youth court) judges, researches in the field of criminal youth law, criminologists and staff members of the court and the justice department, both nationally and internationally.


Stephanie Rap teaches youth criminology and comparative juvenile justice at Utrecht University. She wrote her PhD thesis on comparative juvenile justice.

Ido Weijers is professor of youth protection at Utrecht University. He is the author of several books, including Punishing Juveniles (with Antony Duff, Hart, 2002).


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