This course examines legal responses to minors who break the law. It opens with a discussion of the development of the American juvenile court, which can be divided into three periods, beginning with the establishment of the Chicago Juvenile Court in 1899. It considers jurisdictional issues—when does the juvenile court have the authority to act? When and how do adult criminal courts assert jurisdiction over minors?—as well as questions concerning the application of traditional criminal law rules and doctrines, particularly those regarding the mens rea requirement, to offenses by minors. It explores the law that governs investigatory encounters and pretrial procedures as well as pre-adjudication processes (i.e., intake and detention) in the context of juvenile court. It then examines modern juvenile court practice, adjudication, and disposition with a discussion of the role of lawyers for children in delinquency matters.
Taking this courses affords the opportunity to delve deeper by enrolling concurrently in Law 692, Juvenile Courts Practicum