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Teaching Youth Justice

Lesson 3.3: Publication and Information Sharing

Rationale
This lesson continues an exploration of court procedures in more depth through building student understandings of why publication bans usually
apply to Youth Justice Court.

Procedure
1. Ask students if they believe that people should be judged by their past actions or present actions. How do their beliefs fit into the concept of rehabilitation?

2. As a class, lead group reading of Publication and Information Sharing then have students complete discussion questions.

3. Teachers may wish to engage the class in a discussion about the merits and drawbacks of the publication of youth names. The following arguments as to why or why not the identity of people involved in a Youth Justice Court case should be published will make a useful starting
point for discussion.
Reasons to not allow publication of youth names include:

  • Society should protect the reputations of accused young people so that they will not be labelled for life.
  • Young people have a right to a fresh start after completing the sentence imposed upon a finding of guilt.
  • The public need not know the identity of a young person in order to see that justice is done.

Reasons to allow publication of youth names include:

  • Justice must be seen. The public must have access to all information about court proceedings to ensure that the courts reflect society’s values.
  • Young people will be deterred from committing crimes if they know that their names will be published.
  • Young people should be accountable to the public, as well as the courts, for their crimes. Their wrongdoing should be publicized and their reputations affected.
  • Publication may be necessary to protect the public.

Be sure to have students locate and understand relevant research on their stance.

Publication and Information Sharing

Handout

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