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German System (From Children Who Kill, P 131-140, 1996, Paul Cavadino, ed. - See NCJ-166255)

NCJ Number
R du Bois
Date Published
10 pages
This paper examines which aspects of the German juvenile justice system are more or less valuable, functional, humane, and in the best interests of the young offender, and the balance between educational and juridical considerations.
After a brief look at German juvenile justice proceedings and those of other countries, the author proposes criteria that could be applied to different systems that could help to clarify their respective positions and may reveal how well they perform in some respects and how badly in others: (1) the stability of moral standards concerning special requirements for children; (2) the quality of jurisdiction within the lower age group; (3) the influence of the media and public interest in court proceedings; (4) comparison of adversarial (Britain, United States) and inquisitorial systems (France, Germany, and elsewhere on the European continent); and (5) the quality of jurisdiction within the older age group, from 16 to 18 or even 21. Very young children who commit serious crimes have suffered the most devastating trauma, and deserve more attention from welfare systems.