Law and norm: justice administration and the human sciences in early juvenile justice in Victoria

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McCallum, David (2004) Law and norm: justice administration and the human sciences in early juvenile justice in Victoria. Newcastle Law Review, 7 (2). pp. 62-71. ISSN 1324-8758


A recurring motif in law and legal studies literature is the relations between justice and legal administration on the one hand, and the social and human sciences on the other. Judicial and non-judicial systems of knowledge and practice are viewed as separate and distinct, as in some recent critique of the ‘New Penology’ that posit fundamental tensions between justice and welfare models of penality. Alternately, theorists have ‘de-centred’ law by focusing on the way in which problems form at the intersection of both legal and extra-legal institutions. This paper reviews the literature on the close interconnectedness of ‘welfare’ and ‘justice’ models of penal policy and ways of conceiving these relations in terms of a ‘complex’ involving justice administration and the conduct of the human sciences. It then attempts to demonstrate these relations, historically, in the ‘cross-talk’ of agencies involved in establishing the children’s court and the court clinic in Victoria. Finally, the paper argues that the specific effects of law in this particular jurisdiction were to mandate the social scientific instruments needed to construct and promote the notion of a ‘normal family’. This account may have implications for contemporary juvenile justice policy and images of family in the present.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 370000 Studies in Human Society
Historical > RFCD Classification > 390000 Law, Justice and Law Enforcement
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords justice administration, juvenile justice, human sciences, Victoria
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