WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHILD JUSTICE BILL? The process of law reform relating to child offenders
Children who are accused of crimes in South Africa are governed by the same legislation as adults. The urgent need to develop a separate child justice system culminated in the release of the draft Child Justice Bill in 2000 by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC). A product of thorough research and consultation, the revised Bill was introduced to parliament in August 2002. The changes made after public hearings and debates in parliament in 2003 saw the whittling away of the overall child rights nature of the Bill. To add insult to injury, the legislation has, since that year, not been debated again before the portfolio committee and the legislature has provided no explanation for this state of affairs.
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