Young Offenders’ Rights and the Law

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 36

Contact Hours: 15

Assessment Hours: 24

Duration: 6 sessions


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

The unit will give a general background on Maltese Juvenile Criminal Law and the young offenders rights in the ambit of youth justice.  This unit will also aim to give a theoretical and a practical outlook of the law in question. Themes such as restorative justice, young offenders’ rights and youth justice.

By the end of this module the course participant will have a good overview of the most important legislation pertaining to Juvenile Criminal legislation.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Demonstrate the correct use and application of terminology such as youth justice; age of criminal responsibility and youth crime;

b. Evaluate the theoretical approaches to youth justice;

c. Develop knowledge of the Maltese criminal procedural and substantive law when it comes to the juvenile justice system;

d. Utilise knowledge of parental responsibility, the rights of the child and restorative justice in the ambit of juvenile law.


a. Demonstrate knowledge of the Maltese legal system with regard to juvenile law;

b. Acquire theoretical knowledge on youth justice and young offenders’ rights;

c. Draw upon practical knowledge on youth justice in the Maltese courts;

d. Identify International instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;

e. Compare differences and similarities of legal systems on youth justice.


a. Critically identify the core concepts of youth justice;

b. Demonstrate appreciation of the balance between juvenile law and restorative justice;

c. Analyse the rights of the child within the ambit of youth justice;

d. Critique Maltese law when it comes to youth justice;

e. Critically explore possible ways of improving the Maltese youth justice system.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Case-Study Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Barry Goldon et al, Youth Justice and Penality in Compartive Context, Routledge, 2020
  2. Case, S. (2018), Youth Justice: A Critical Introduction, Taylor & Francis
  3. Criminal Code, Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta
  4. Muncie, J. (2015), Youth and Crime (4th edn) Sage Publications
  5. Brown, S. (2005), Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth? (2nd edn), Open University Press
  6. Fionda, J. (2001), Legal Concepts of Childhood, Oxford: Hart
  7. Smith, R. (2017), Youth Justice: Ideas, Policy, Practice, (3rd edn), Routledge
  8. Wolthuis, A. and Chapman, T. (eds), Restorative Justice from a Children’s Rights Perspective, Eleven International Publishing, 2021
  9. Young, A. (1995), Imagining Crime, Sage Publications
Supplementary Reading List
  1. C (A Minor) vs D.P.P [1995] 2 WLR 383 (HL)
  2. Case Commentary: R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Venables and Thompson; The Age of Innocence? – the concept of childhood in the punishment of young offenders’, Fionda J, Child Family Law Quarterly, Vol 10, No. 1, 1998
  3. Liebling, A., Maruna, S., McAra, L., (2017);  The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edn) OUP.
  4. Lode Walgrave, Restorative Justice for Juveniles: Just a Technique or a Fully Fledged Alternative? Howard Journal of Criminal Justice [1995] Vol 34, p 228
  5. Juvenile Court Act, Chapter 287 of the Laws of Malta
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