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Rap, S. & Weijers, I. (2014) The Effective Youth Court. Juvenile Justice Procedures in Europe

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Abstract

This book is purpose-made for professionals and academics working in the field of juvenile justice to inform them about a new interdisciplinary perspective .The book explores the way juvenile defendants are involved in the courtroom. The leading idea of the book is that a combination of two perspectives is required to be able to react legally correct and adequately to youth delinquency. Knowledge of the legal framework that has been developed in the past decades in the area of human rights, particularly the procedural rights of the child, has to be enriched with social scientific insights in the development and treatment of the child. First, the book develops a normative framework for the application of the right to be heard in the youth court. Then it offers a comparative analysis of the actual practice of participation of juvenile defendants in Europe. In total 50 youth courts have been visited, involving more than 3000 cases of juvenile defendants. Finally, best practices in the youth court procedure are designated regarding the actual participation of juvenile defendants.
... Before describing the method and results of our study, we will give a brief description of the Dutch situation in the context of that of other European countries. 2 It is not our intention to give an exhaustive comparison of juvenile justice systems (see Matthews et al., 2018;Pruin and Dünkel, 2015;Rap and Weijers, 2014;Weijers, 2017). Our international comparison is limited to the special treatment of young adults in the criminal (juvenile) law system. ...
... Second, there are countries in which young adults are eligible for the mitigation of punitive sentences, such as in most Scandinavian countries (Finland, Sweden and Denmark). Third, there are countries where no special sanctioning of young adults in criminal law exists, such as Spain (Dünkel and Pruin, 2012;Pruin and Dünkel, 2015) or England and Wales (Rap and Weijers, 2014). However, England and Wales do form a special group on their own. ...
... Supervision by probation services can be ordered in conjunction with suspended sentences. The duration and content of the sanctions that young adults can receive, however, may differ from that of minors in these countries (see, for example, Pruin and Dünkel, 2015;Rap and Weijers, 2014). ...
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This article explores how the idea of procedural justice can help us to rethink juvenile justice and research children’s rights in Europe differently. To frame the following argument, we will question four implications of the procedural justice perspective: 1) the need to implement rights and not just proclaim them, 2) the need to investigate a ‘double perspective’ on children’s rights implying both juvenile justice professionals and children in conflict with the law, 3) the child’s right to effectively participate and be involved in the process and 4) the idea that age matters in the judicial reaction to crime. The resulting conclusions and discussions revolve around the scientific consequences and challenges we must face when we take procedural justice perspective seriously.
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