Working Group Report - ESC Working Group of Juvenile Justice

Barry Goldson

Barry Goldson

University of Liverpool


Jenneke Christiaens

Jenneke Christiaens

Free University Brussels


Not unlike many other ESC Working Groups, Covid 19 has served to slow - but not to stop - the activities of the TWGJJ over the period 2019-22.


The TWGJJ organised a two-day seminar at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), March 28-29. The seminar had three principal objectives: first, to plan TWGJJ activities for 2019-20 and beyond; second, to discuss and debate ‘juvenile justice in Europe: contemporary, conditions, contexts and challenges’; and, third, to arrange a series of author meets critics sessions, panels and parallel sessions for the ESC conference in September 2019. The seminar was very successful and the TWGJJ hosted a range of excellent sessions at the conference in Ghent.

Also, in 2019 an edited volume was published containing contributions from several members of the TWGJJ: Goldson, B. (ed.) (2019) Juvenile Justice in Europe: Past, Present and Future. London: Routledge.


The TWGJJ organised a further two-day seminar to be held at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), March 19-20. The seminar was arranged to focus on ‘contemporary/new challenges for juvenile justice in Europe’ (with some emphasis on the intersections between unaccompanied child migrants and criminalisation), in addition to facilitating future planning (including preparations for the ESC conference scheduled to take place in Bucharest in September). Unfortunately, we had to cancel the seminar given the imposition of ‘Lockdown’ conditions.


The global health pandemic meant that the ESC conference was a virtual meeting in September 2021. Notwithstanding this, the TWGJJ co-ordinated a range of activities for the conference including: two pre-arranged panels (‘Cross-National Trends in Penal Responses to Serious Crime by Children’ and ‘Participation and Frustration Across a Devolved Nation? Looking Anew at Youth Justice in Wales’); 18 individual paper presentations clustered into five panels (‘Juvenile Detention: Experiences, Conditions and Critique’, ‘International and Comparative Juvenile Justice’; ‘Juvenile Justice: Reactions, Responses and Interventions (1)’, ‘Juvenile Justice: Reactions, Responses and Interventions (2)’ and ‘“Sexting”: A Recent Phenomenon in Juvenile Justice?’. Three poster presentations were also offered.


For the ESC conference scheduled to take place in Malaga (21-24 September), the TWGJJ has ‘judged’ and facilitated: six pre-arranged panels; 51 individual paper presentations and nine poster presentations. The TWGJJ will once again have a strong presence at the conference.

Future planning

Although uncertainties continue to abound regarding future variants of Covid 19 – and the impacts of such variants – the TWGJJ is in good health and we will continue to progress plans for 2023 and beyond.