Monday, December 7, 2009

Salient Features of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance in Pakistan

Salient Features of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000

Definitions
A child is defined as a person who, at the time of commission of an offence, is below the age of 18 years.

Arrest and Detention
The guardian of an arrested juvenile shall be informed as early as possible after the arrest.
The concerned probation officer has to be similarly informed.
A child arrested for a non-bailable offence must be produced before juvenile court within 24 hours, while a child arrested for a bailable offence must be released on bail even without surety.
It provides for children to be detained in Borstal institutions (which are defined in the JJSO as places where a child may be ‘detained and given education and training for their mental, moral and psychological development’). It also provides for resources and funding for the construction of these Borstal institutions around the country.
It prohibits any child from being handcuffed or put in fetters while he or she is in custody.
It prohibits any child from being forced to suffer corporal punishment / hard labour during custody or detention.
It prohibits keeping children in police stations for bailable offences.

Trial and Sentencing
It provides the child with free legal representation, free medical treatment and appeal against a conviction within a 30 day period.
It prohibits any joint trial of a child with an adult.
Unnecessary delay in proceedings should be avoided by the authorities.
Offences carrying ten years punishment are made bailable for children less than 15 years of age and it is prohibited to publish proceedings.
It prohibits any child from being sentenced to the death penalty.

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