Our history

YJLC was set up by Just for Kids Law to work in collaboration with those across the sector to ensure the knowledge of professionals working with children in the criminal justice system is constantly evolving and improving.

The goal of YJLC to be a centre of excellence on youth justice law came at a time when very few resources existed for professionals and there was no requirement that lawyers representing children in the criminal justice have any kind of specialist training.

The legal landscape has progressed in a short time, in no small part due to the work of YJLC. YJLC works in collaboration with civil society, legal bodies and educational entities to ensure that the capacity and knowledge of those working with children in the criminal justice system is constantly evolving and improving.

It was always clear to us that children in the criminal justice system should be represented by specialists. The aim in creating YJLC was to fundamentally improve the way these children are represented. YJLC has exceeded those original dreams and continues to grow, support and celebrate this important community of people providing a key, frontline role in society.

Shauneen Lambe, Co-Founder Just for Kids Law and Youth Justice Legal Centre

Taking a global approach, evolving legal understanding domestically, the need for YJLC continues to be strong having become an established and respected sector leader. Ensuring that children who do end up in the criminal justice system get the best outcomes both legally and for their futures.

YJLC, like all of the strands of work in Just for Kids Law, developed out of what the young people told us they needed. Sometimes the stories they told us of their experiences were funny, sometimes they made us furious but mostly we heard stories of a communication gaps and gaps in social understanding. To the young people we have worked with over the years, thank you, for inspiring, motivating and making even the driest parts of the work more enjoyable. If it wasn’t for you, for us, it wouldn’t be worth doing.