Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context

Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context

10-12 November 2015

The conference built on the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group plenary meeting, held on 13-14 April 2015 in Valletta, Malta, where Switzerland proposed to add Juvenile Justice to the Working Group's Work Plan. The objective of the meeting was to bring together experts (judges, prosecutors, investigators, legislators and representatives from the psycho-social field) from GCTF Members and several organizations to raise awareness about the necessity to link counterterrorism with juvenile justice standards and practices, review existing systems and challenges, and to propose recommendations for strengthening this field of the justice system. 

Key themes of discussion included:

  • The challenge of translating the extensive international legal framework into national law, standards and practice.

  • The dual victim/offender status of a juvenile involved in terrorist activities should always be considered during the implementation of prevention, detention, non-custodial and reintegration measures.

  • The context and the case-by-case basis approach should always be promoted.

  • Investigating and prosecuting a terrorism case involving a child/juvenile requires special procedures to be implemented.

  • The detention of juveniles should always be the measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

  • Governments and organizations need to move from “countering” violent extremism to “preventing” it.

  • A comprehensive government and community-based approach has to be promoted.

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