Ignoring necessity: the court's decision to impose an ASBO on a child

09 NOV 2007

Tim Bateman, Senior Policy Development Officer at Nacro and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. The anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) has garnered more than its fair share of headlines since provision for the measure was first made in section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Drawing on recent research on the use of ASBOs against children, this article aims to explore some of the factors that determine whether an application against a young person below the age of 18 years is granted. It is argued that while courts generally require strong evidence to establish the young person's involvement in anti-social behaviour, less attention is paid to the issue of whether an ASBO is necessary to prevent further incidence of misconduct. It is further contended that necessity is overlooked, in part, because magistrates and district judges (and defence solicitors) tend to assume, sometimes erroneously, that applications for ASBOs against children are only initiated where other measures have been tried and failed. For the full article see Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol 19, No 3, 2007.

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