n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Practitioners' perspectives about the successes and challenges in the implementation of the Child Justice Act

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development must submit annual reports on the implementation of the Child Justice Act (Act 75 of 2008) to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development. The purpose of the reports is to provide Parliament with a holistic overview of the Act's implementation and reflect on successes and challenges experienced with the implementation of the Act. The implementation and monitoring of the Act is dependent on the close collaboration between government Departments, and between government Departments and the non-governmental sector and civil society that are tasked with rendering services to children in conflict with the law. To date, as discussed in this article, the general evaluation of the Act's implementation has been done in what seems to be a disjointed and haphazard manner. Annual reports to Parliament are largely extrapolated from governmental reports and focussed on macro level operational issues. Against this background, the article will present findings from a study that explored practitioners' perceptions about the successes and challenges experienced in the implementation of the Act. Findings from the study highlight the challenges (that are largely not recognised in the annual oversight reports to Parliament) governmental and non-governmental practitioners experience in the rendering of services to children in conflict with the law. This is due to a break down in information flow between micro level practitioners who are directly responsible for delivering services in line with the Act's provisions and macro level governmental structures that are responsible for the oversight of the Act's implementation. The focus of this article will be to explore the value practitioners' experiences can add to the oversight of the Child Justice Act.

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