Is it time to ditch the YCJA?

Many questions and controversies have popped up in the years since the Young Offenders Act came about in 1984 (and continued when the act was replaced in 2003 by the Youth Criminal Justice Act), not the least of which had to do with press’s inability to publish the names of youth accused of a crime, especially a heinous one. Now, it seems that the internet age is muddying the waters, and the Ryerson Review of Journalism is questioning whether the YCJA is quickly becoming outdated.

Review reporter Jenny Vaughan recently wrote a feature on the publication ban aspect of the YCJA, and how the advent of social networking sites like Facebook have made it increasingly difficult to police publication bans. She writes:

“Clearly, the YCJA hasn’t caught up with the technological reality of Facebook and Twitter, which makes the law increasingly difficult to enforce. As well, some journalists complain the act means they can’t produce full accounts of youth crime. So is it time to revamp the YCJA?”

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