Juvenile crime, a major social problem in Ireland today on which the government and the tax payer spend large sums of money and energy without effecting any fundamental improvement, is on the rise, or is it?. It is clear that crime perpetrated by delinquents does exist. What is not clear is the extent to which public beliefs and fears genuinely reflect the underlying actuality of crime. Since the introduction of The Juvenile Justice Bill 1996 (to be named on enactment as the Children Act 1996, hereafter referred to as the 1996 Bill) the primary legislation governing young persons was the Children's Act 1908. Successive Governments, despite regular promises, failed 10 introduce new juvenile justice legislation. The administration of juvenile justice has been the responsibility of three government departments, Health, Justice and Education, and while the delay (88 years) has been attributed to a problem of fundamental disagreements between these departments as to where their collective responsibilities lay, one must question and condemn this legislative inertia, and lack of statutory response to a patently ineffective, costly archaic system. Given the enormity and complexity of this subject matter, some degree of simplification and distortion by selectivity is inevitable. Nonetheless the topics examined in this work, will offer and incisive, comprehensive examination, and analysis of the law in this area.