This article investigates the field of judicial intervention on childhood and youth, focusing on the transformations that the gents’ practices and meanings have gone through after the promulgation of the “Estatuto da Crian a e do Adolescente” (Childhood and Adolescence Statute) in 1990. The meanings that constituted, in practice, the changes in this realm of social intervention, as well as the judicial agents’ personal motivations, are hereby depicted. In a realm where communitarian participation and social mobilization towards the construction of rights is stressed, judicial agents have invested on specific legal instruments in order to legitimize their performance. Such posture couples “juridical capital” with what might be called “militant capital”, as it is expressed in the ideals of communitarian participation and of “engaged justice”. Thus, this paper aims at understanding these new devices of judicial legitimization, as well as pondering on its paradoxes.