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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78532 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal and Civil Liabilities of Minor Offenders
Journal: Philippine Law Journal  Volume:54  Dated:(1979)  Pages:107-120
Author(s): J R Ricalde; E L Tumacder
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Philippines
Annotation: This article examines laws and judicial decisions in the Phlippines governing criminal and civil liabilities of minor offenders, with particular attentions to the impact of Presidential Decree No. 603, the Child and Youth Welfare Code (CYWC).
Abstract: Under the Civil Code, minor offenders are those whose ages are below 21 years. In contrast, amendments to the CYWC define a youthful offender as one who is over 9 years old but under 18 years. Circumstances which affect the criminal liability of offenders under the Revised Penal Code are first discussed. A child under age 9 is clearly exempt, as are minors between 9 and 15 whom the court finds were unable to discern differences between right and wrong. Cases which illustrate judicial interpretations of the discernment concept are presented. Other exemptions can be based on a minor's willingness to submit to drug abuse treatment or minority as a mitigating circumstance. Provisions of the CYWC which govern liability of parents for crimes committed by their children are reviewed. The CYWC has resolved some difficulties by clearly holding parents liable for acts committed by minors between 9 and 18 years old regardless of the discernment element. Because the law does not cover liability for acts committed by children over 18 and under 21, judicial decisions involving this issue are described. Although the CYWC allows courts to suspend sentences of youthful offenders under 18, recent court cases have upheld the minor's civil liability when given a suspended sentence or acquitted on the grounds that guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In conclusion, minor offenders under 9 years are exempt from criminal but not civil liability. Minor offenders between 9 and 18 are governed by the CYWC, whereas those between 18 and 21 are covered by the general penal and civil codes. Civil liabilities of minors arising from torts are also considered. Over 40 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Civil liability; Judicial decisions; Juvenile codes; Legal liability; Philippines
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