` Jordanian Government Sweeping Changes to its Juvenile Detention Law including Accountability Age Seven' '

#AceWorldNews – JORDAN – April 08 – (Al Jazeera ) The Jordanian government is considering sweeping changes to its juvenile detention law. More than 2,000 juveniles reside in youth detention centres, most of them convicted for minor crimes like petty theft.

Most of the detainees suffer from severe depression, prompting the country’s social development ministry to urge parliament to approve a draft law that would ease conditions for juveniles.

Substantial changes, including replacing prison sentences with community service, as well as raising the age of criminal accountability from seven-years-old to 11, have been proposed.

Legal experts say the amendments would ensure Jordan’s child protection laws are compatible with international conventions.

In 2005 – 2006 changes were made at the time to include a new draft of Juvenile law was elaborated that is more consistent with the basic UN standards applicable in Juvenile justice (specially respect for children rights, referral to competent judiciary specialized in juvenile cases, application of alternatives to imprisonment and restorative justice principles instead of punitive justice). http://www.unodc.org/middleeastandnorthafrica/en/resources/jor-juvenile-justice-reform-program-in-jordan—phase-1.html

This included at the time an Amendment of Criminal Procedure Code-article 158- to allow the use of material recorded by audio visual equipment at police stations as evidence at court.

Courtesy of Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamaylah reports from Amman with contributions from UNODC.

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