A comparative analysis of models of child justice and South Africa's unique contribution




This article considers the models of child justice currently applied in various jurisdictions, either in isolation, or in combination with others. It provides a brief theoretical framework for the premise upon which various systems of child justice operate. Models of child justice influence how the child offender is processed through the criminal trial system and the degree to which the offender’s conduct may be punished. The author posits that South African child justice, espoused by the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008, has potentially created, or inadvertently resulted in the creation of two further models of child justice. For this reason, the article submits that the Child Justice Act is sui generis in the sense that it incorporates indigenous African traditional justice processes. As such, it has the potential to extend protection for children who are in conflict with the law.


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