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Juvenile Affairs

▍1. Juvenile Matters

The Juvenile Delinquency Act was comprehensively revised in 1997. The revisions base the theory on concentric circles, the principle of taking priority of protective measures (teaching takes the place of punishment), the principle of submitting the whole case and the right of first refusal of juvenile courts, the doctrine of modesty and restrain of criminal law, the principle of last resort, the principle of multiple treatments and the trial of consultation mode and other supporting systems, collaborating with the steering system and the return mechanism, beginning to establish a system to protect the juvenile's sound personal growth and development as the legislative purpose, the principle of prioritizing protection which adopts multiple protection measures instead of security measures focusing on maintaining social order in the past. Through these adjustments of ideas, it is to gradually build up the protective role of the Juvenile Court (court division) for the juvenile in the community and serve a function as a catcher (not to miss catch of any children).

In summary, the Juvenile Delinquency Act's core idea, still being clearly defined in the legislative purpose under Article 1 to protect the right of personal sound growth of the juvenile, which is the compass policy and core value for all the legal regulations in juvenile delinquency matter. Most problems can also be solved reasonably through the interpretation method of purposiveness (the principle of the best interests for children and juveniles).

The Juvenile Delinquency Act was amended and promulgated on June 19, 2019(click on the link for more details), and is the revision of the largest scale for the Juvenile Delinquency Act ever since 1997. It is even an important milestone to bring into line with the worldly trend of the judicial rights and interests for children and juveniles. The amendments this time, in addition to the gist revealing that the juvenile pre-delinquent who escapes from school or home may not be deprived of personal liberty (accommodation or corrective education) in response to the interpretation of the Grand Justice Interpretation No. 664, further coordinate with the Act to Implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Implementation Act of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the resolution of National Conference on Judicial Reform passed in 2017, and the Concluding Observations of Experts on the Initial International Review on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2017(click on the link for more details), etc., to pay attention to the issues related to the judicial human rights of children and juveniles, so as to promote fair treatment of children and juveniles in education, community and welfare administration. It is the main direction to respect the juvenile subject rights and the basic procedural rights.

Further, the new system will allow administration and judiciary to make concerted efforts to give a big reverse to the juvenile judicial system, face squarely the main reason behind the juvenile delinquent behavior, dilute the color of security measures, and introduce a large amount of administrative resources for children and juvenile counseling.

▍2. Summary of the Important Content of the New System in Juvenile

      Delinquency Act

  1. Safeguard growth rights for juveniles
    The emphasis of various aspects of Juvenile Delinquency Act is based on the core idea of the juvenile subject. The application of the whole Juvenile Delinquency Ac should all maintain the legislative purpose under Article 1 of the Act to protect the sound personal growth of the juvenile, adjust their growth environment, and correct their character so as to rebuild the connection between the juvenile and society and the community.
  2. Reverse the pre-delinquent mark
    The system of pre-delinquency aims at the prevention of juvenile delinquency. However, the juvenile pre-delinquent does not violate the law. In order to guide toward the stress of protecting the growth and development rights of the juvenile, Article 3 has stipulated that all the circumstances such as juvenile character and growth environment, frequent contacts, groups participated, places attended, daily routines, family functions, schooling or employment are criterion for judging whether it is necessary to safeguard the sound personal growth of the juvenile, and for determining the need for protection of judicial treatments, and to remove the labelling effect of the offender by status. That is to say, the new system has modified the old pre-delinquency system to adjust and make the public understand the concept that the juvenile is being exposed to risks.
    At the same time, it is to reduce the factors for judicial intervention. According to the gist of the Interpretation No. 664 of the Court, four out of the seven categories under the current regulations are to be deleted, which reserves only three behaviors of “Carrying dangerous devices often without proper reasons”, “Taking or injecting drugs or psychedelic objects but not yet in violation of the law”, and “Preparing to commit an offence or attempted committing of an offense which are not punishable by the law” as signs of behaviors for identifying the juvenile is being exposed to danger.
  3. Cooperation between administration and judicature - establishing the advance mechanism of administrative counseling for juveniles exposed in danger
    In accordance with Paragraphs 2 through 7 of Article 18, the Juvenile Counseling Committees of the County and City Governments combine welfare, education, psychology, medical care and other related resources of all sorts to provide counseling to the juvenile exposed to danger for an appropriate period of time. If it proves to be necessary under assessment, juvenile courts may also be requested for handling. If the juvenile is self- conscious of the risk of breaking the law, he/she may also seek help from the Juvenile Counseling Committee on his/her own, so to express the respect for the juvenile subject right.
    In order for the relevant institutions to fully prepare, the aforementioned amendments will be implemented on July 1, 2023; prior to the implementation, it is still for juvenile courts to handle the deviant behavior of the juvenile exposed to danger.
  4. Safeguard the right of expressions for juveniles
    In order to maintain judicial human rights of children and juveniles, and to make reasonable adjustments based on the age and physical and mental maturity of the child and juvenile, the amendments this time safeguard the right of expressions for children and juveniles and the juvenile’s right to know the judicial procedure, etc.
  5. Strengthen autonomy in proceedings
    It includes that juveniles should not be alone in facing the interrogation, and they should be accompanied by appropriate people, communication without barriers, separation from adults during the waiting for trials , no interrogation at night in principle , applying for custody of another, suspension or revocation of detention, and foreign juveniles who have been rendered a disposition of deportation shall have the opportunity to express their opinions and the right to remedy, etc.
  6. Strengthen the power and functions of juvenile detention houses
    Juvenile detention houses should have a mechanism of identification to help juvenile courts determine the appropriate treatment on the juvenile detained for protection. This time, the provisions of the first part of Subparagraph 2, Article 26 added, has clarified the purpose of juvenile detention and the strengthening of the function of juvenile detention houses.
  7. Increase the diversified treatment measures
    In order to promote the platform for resource integrations, it has stated that juvenile courts may convene meetings for negotiation, consultation or integration of resources related to welfare services of children and juveniles, research and confer to provide appropriate treatments or connecting services that are in the best interests of children and juveniles. That is to say, it is to integrate the relevant resources accessible to juveniles, the mutual understanding and division of work between administrative organs and courts, avoid repeated waste of resources and to enhance the effectiveness of diversified treatments.
    At the same time, it is to add medical institutions for implementing transitional education measures or other appropriate places for the need of arranging counseling disposition. This part of the amendments shall be implemented on June 19, 2020.
  8. Privacy protection for juveniles
    In order to protect the privacy rights of juveniles, this Act has stipulated that the service of documents should not disclose the information of the juvenile. The records of the juvenile’s previous cases and related materials should be kept confidential and properly deleted, together with other provisions such as limitations of information provision and no providing the subject of records and information.
  9. Introducing restoration resources
    In accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 29, it has clearly stipulated that juvenile courts may refer to appropriate authorities, institutions, groups or individuals for restoration, at their discretion, with the consent of juveniles, juveniles’ legal representatives and victims.
  10. Children who have violations in law will return to educational and social system
    The Juvenile Delinquency Act has deleted Article 85-1, which will be implemented on June 19, 2020. In the future, children between the ages of 7 and 12 will return to the 12-year national basic education and student counseling mechanism if they have violations in law, without being submitted to juvenile courts so to prevent children from entering the judicial proceeding prematurely.
  • Release Date : 2019-11-07
  • Update : 2021-07-09