But under amendments to the Youth Justice Act, youngsters already convicted of a previous crime can be named in the media in relation to a new offence.
But under amendments to the Youth Justice Act, youngsters already convicted of a previous crime can be named in the media in relation to a new offence.

WE SAY: Power to identify young criminals must be fair

OUR VIEW: TODAY marks a watershed in the Sunshine Coast Daily's reporting of court cases.

For the first time we are able to do what many in the community have been demanding - name juveniles accused of serious crimes.

In this case it is two 16-year-olds accused of setting fire to Bli Bli State School.

RELATED: Teenagers accused of Bli Bli school fire face court

Under the old rules, the teenagers could have gone through the court process without ever being identified.

But under amendments to the Youth Justice Act, youngsters already convicted of a previous crime can be named in the media in relation to a new offence.

There are many who will welcome the power this legislation gives the media, but it also comes with great responsibility.

We make no apologies for naming this pair because of the seriousness of the crime they are alleged to have committed and the impact it has had on the community.

But all media - the Daily included - will have to be very aware of the impact their actions could have on the future of young defendants with their whole lives ahead of them.

The desire to make them publicly responsible for their actions will have to be measured against the potential to ruin a young life that may otherwise be brought back on track.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?


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