Juvenile Justice in Nepal

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Social Context of Children in Nepal

Juvenile Justice

Submitted to: Submitted by:

Dr. Bala Raju Nikku Bidhya Joshi
Bikina Chhetri

Kadambari Memorial College Date: 21st November, 2010

Juvenile Justice:
Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In most states, juvenile justice law is applicable to those under 18 years old. Juvenile law is mainly governed by the juvenile justice codes of states. The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment. Juvenile justice is administered through a juvenile or family court, however, but juvenile court does not have jurisdiction in cases in which minors are charged as adults. Where parental neglect or loss of control is a problem, the juvenile court may seek out foster homes for the juvenile, treating the child as a ward of the court. The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act defines juvenile delinquency (any act that is otherwise a crime, but is committed by someone less than 18 years of age) and sets forth rules by which state laws must comply with regard to juvenile court procedures and punishments. The purpose of the act is to assist states and local communities with funding and standards to be used in providing community based preventative services to youths in danger of becoming delinquent, training individuals in occupations providing such services, and providing technical assistance in the field. (US Legal)

Juvenile Justice in Nepal:

Nepal is the state party to the CRC (Child Right Convention) and a majority of other international and regional human rights instruments that protects the rights of the child in general and the rights of the child in conflict with the law in particular. The children act 1992 of Nepal is a legal framework introduced by the state after the ratification of CRC in 1990 as a state parties of CRC are obliged to fulfill its responsibilities towards the protection of the rights of the child.

Nepal has almost ratified most of the major international human rights instruments including convention on the rights of the child (CRC) 1989. Enactment of children’s act, 1992 can be conceived as an initiative of the government towards framing legal standards for children as a separate mechanism. Similarly, court rules also deals with some issues relating to children. Recently enacted juvenile justice (procedure) rules, 2007 is a step towards juvenile justice system in the country. Crime commited by an adult and child are seen with the same perspectives. There is no separate justice system to deal with the case of juveniles and adults except for differences in punishment based on legally acknowledged differences in criminal liability.(PPR Nepal, 2007)

Nepal doesn’t currently have a comprehensive juvenile justice system. Although children act was introduced in 1992 to govern procedures for dealing with the children in conflict wit the law and children in need of protection, the implementation of the law has been fragmented. Children are not systematically separated from adults at all stages of the criminal proceedings and juvenile justice is not yet treated as a fully separate and independent system. (UNICEF, 2006)

The children act is not clear whether a child may be sent to a prison to undergo punishment and be kept in police custody during trial. The government of Nepal while prescribing the juvenile bench has not accomplished its responsibility to nominate the social worker and child specialist in audition to the judge. (CeLRRD, 2003)

• The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Nepal is 10. The UN committee on the rights of child has expressed concerned that this age is too low and has recommended raising it to comply with international standards i.e. 18 years.

• Police are...
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