Young People, Crime and the Law (LAWS6192)


The unit aims to provide a broad overview of the functioning of the juvenile justice system and its relationship to juvenile offending. There is a specific emphasis on NSW in terms of understanding the operation of a particular system, however reference is frequently made to the wider Australian and international context. The unit analyses the historical development of a separate system of juvenile justice and the system of ideas about juvenile delinquency as distinct entities separable from broader notions of criminality and criminal justice. The unit also analyses the contemporary nature of juvenile crime and specific issues in relation to offending, policing, community-based corrections and detention centres. Social relations which mediate between the juvenile justice system and young people will be investigated through a focus on gender, race and class. The broader political determinants surrounding the operation of the juvenile justice system and moral panics in relation to juvenile offending will also be examined. The unit aims to develop a critical understanding of the link between theory and juvenile justice policy, and to develop an appreciation of the multi-disciplinary nature of criminological explanation.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Aug 12, 13 & 26, 27 (9-5)


class presentation (10%), 3000wd essay (40%), take-home exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.