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Roles of Lawyers in Youth Courts

NCJ Number
Deviance et societe Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2006 Pages: 155-177
Patricia Benec'h-Le Roux
Date Published
June 2006
23 pages
This paper examines the changing role of lawyers within juvenile court from both an historical and a professional perspective.
Until recently, the lawyer played a secondary role in the juvenile courts. Due to a model of educational justice which organized the law of delinquent childhood, the juvenile judge occupied a dominant position. Within this model, educational measures were favored with punishment remaining an exception. Due to this juvenile justice model, the scope of the lawyer’s action was considered minor. However, since the 1990s, lawyers have benefited from a relative rise to power within the juvenile court. Today, the questions of juvenile defense in justice, the roles and the mandate of its lawyer are recurrent, tempting further investigation. This paper examines how, in regards to some contextual evolutions, certain lawyers have tried to create a name for themselves in the juvenile courts, by forming an association and following a specialized training. The paper also shows how the defense of their position, as juvenile defense lawyer, has encouraged a regulation of professional capacities.