Instructor(s): Brock Jones

For graduate students, the course number is LAW3028HS.

Note: The Blackboard program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Blackboard prior to the start of school in both terms in order to obtain course information.

This course examines the Youth Criminal Justice Act and aims to provide students with an understanding of both its governing philosophy and its unique statutory framework (including how it diverges from the Criminal Code.)

It commences with an overview of the policy rationales behind the Act and the problems in the youth criminal justice system it was designed to address. It then focuses on the provisions of the Act itself and how they create a separate set of rules for young persons charged with criminal offences. Pre-trial detention, evidentiary rules, privacy rights, records retention, sentencing principles and special considerations on arrest, detention and police questioning will all be analyzed.

Key legal controversies surrounding juvenile justice in Canada will also be discussed, including the effectiveness of custodial sentences and “tough on crime” measures, when (or if) adult sentences are appropriate, and how to best address recidivism amongst youth. Guest lecturers will include defence attorneys and youth court judges.

The course is designed for students who plan on pursuing a career in criminal litigation but is open to any and all who are interested in the subject matter.

20% for Class Participation (5% attendance, 5% contributions to class discussion, 10% student-led seminar or participation in a mock-exercise). Students will be expected to present for approximately 25 minutes before the entire class, either individually or in groups of two. Discussion questions and debate topics should be included. Students should prepare two suggested readings for class members from outside research. The topic of the presentation may be the same as that for the research paper. 80% for a research paper of 5,000-6,500 words on a subject approved by the instructor OR a two-hour open book examination.

At a Glance

Second Term



22 JD


Th: 6:10 - 8:00