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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76238 Find in a Library
Title: Role of the Courts (From Children's Hearings, P 19-31, 1976, F M Martin and Kathleen Murray, eds. - See NCJ-76236)
Author(s): G Gordon
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University Press
New York, NY 10025
Sale Source: Columbia University Press
562 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The degree of involvement of Scottish courts with juvenile offenders after implementation of children's hearing by the Social Work Act of 1968 is discussed.
Abstract: The involvement is of three kinds, each of which occurs at a different stage of the proceedings. The first case is when a child is prosecuted in a criminal court instead of being dealt with by a hearing panel. Children may be prosecuted in summary proceedings for technical or procedural reasons or on indictment because of the seriousness of the offense. As juvenile courts were eliminated by the 1968 Act, the child is prosecuted summarily in an ordinary criminal court with somewhat altered rules. The procedure in trials on indictment is the same as that in adult cases. The court may deal with a child who pleads or is found guilty by discharging him, by admonishing him, by fining him, by placing him on probation, or by sentencing him to a fixed period of detention not exceeding 2 years. On indictment, the court may also order detention of the child for a fixed period of any duration. Any court may, except in the case of murder, request the reporter to arrange a children's hearing for the purpose of obtaining advice on the treatment of the child. Special provisions are made for children who appear to be mentally abnormal. The alternatives of prosecution and referral seem to be utterly opposed, but in practice the dichotomy is more nominal than real. In the second type of court involvement, a case brought before a hearing is referred to the sheriff court because the child or parents cannot or will not admit the ground of referral on which the child has been brought before a hearing. If the sheriff finds the referral established, he sends the case back to the children's hearing; if not, he discharges the referral on the basis of the grounds brought before him. The third kind of court involvement entails an appeal to the court against a decision made by a hearing. An appeal may be made against any decision, including the decision to grant a warrant. The appeal is made first in writing, and the reporter is entitled to lodge written answers. The appeal is then heard orally by the sheriff in private. However, the appeals court has only negative powers and cannot make any decision on the disposal of the child: the only possible courses of action are discharge of the child or remission back to the hearing. Both the child, his parents, and the reporter may appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law. Eleven references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Hearings; Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile courts; Scotland; Sentencing/Sanctions
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