This paper aims at giving a working investigation of what juvenile justice constitutes as well as the legal rights that are included in the juvenile justice system. Issues relating to juvenile rights and privileges have raised some contemporary issues in the past decades. It therefore goes without saying that this is an area that needs concerted efforts by all stakeholders involved in order to bring the differences between supporters of this system and the critics to a general consensus.
The area of juvenile legal rights is quite a very broad one, and given the limited scope of this paper, I cannot exhaustively examine all the finest details. This paper will therefore consider restrictively the most fundamental aspects of juvenile legal rights as well as the procedural stages and tools that are applied in ensuring that the minors are accorded such rights.
These include among others the court systems, procedures undertaken during determination of the innocence or guilt of the juvenile, as well as what the juvenile is entitled to from the time an arrest is made till the time of release or detention. Towards the end of the paper, I will discuss some recommendations which have over the years been annexed and forward by several children organizations as well as other international institutions such as the United Nation’s recommendations relating to overall Human Rights and the Rights of Children.
Due to such earlier mentioned limitation factors, I wish to recommend further research relating to juvenile rights, not only in cases where they find themselves in conflict with the law, but also in all spheres of their social life. This is mainly because my study have identified that in many instances the minors have in one way or another been deprived not only their legal rights but also most of their fundamental human rights, one of the reasons for the controversy in juvenile justice systems over the years. Introduction
Juvenile offenders are persons who are considered to be too young to be regarded and tried in courts of law as adults. This is, however, putting into consideration that the ‘adult age’ varies from one state to another, although the most commonly accepted age is 17 or 18 years. In certain serious offenses, this age can go further down for example in the case of sexual assault or homicide. When a juvenile offends and is taken to a court, he/she has quite a number of legal rights which this paper will, though not exhaustively, address.