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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

23 JUN 2016

Giving effect to young people’s right to effectively participate in criminal proceedings

Giving effect to young people’s right to effectively participate in criminal proceedings

Dr Ray Arthur

Keywords: young people - right to a fair trial - effective participation - unfit to plead - stay of proceedings 

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guarantees the right to a fair trial, including the right of all defendants to participate effectively in their trial. Although psychiatrists and psychologists frequently report that  defendants in the youth court are‘unfit to plead’, this concept has no formal application in the youth court. This article will examine how the criminal  justice system responds to young people who are not capable of effectively participating in their own criminal proceedings as a result of their youth and immaturity inhibiting their understanding and participation in the trial proceedings.

This article has been accepted for publication in Child and Family Law Quarterly in Issue 3, Vol 28, Year 2016. The final published version of this article will be published and made publicly available here 24 months after its publication date, under a CC-BY-NC licence.

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