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Title: Study on children’s involvement in judicial proceedings : contextual overview for the criminal justice phase : Malta, June 2013
Authors: European Commission. Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers
Authors: Psaila, Emma
Keywords: Children's rights -- Malta
Children -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Malta
Juvenile delinquency -- Malta
Juvenile justice, Administration of -- Malta
Judicial process -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: European Commission. Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers
Citation: Study on children’s involvement in judicial proceedings : contextual overview for the criminal justice phase : Malta, June 2013. Luxembourg: European Commission. Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, 2014. 9789279334900
Abstract: Maltese law provides some special measures for children involved in criminal proceedings. However, these are rather limited and very often the position of the child victim, witness or suspect is similar to that of an adult involved in criminal proceedings. This means that children and adults have the same extent of rights to be heard and to participate in the criminal process but special mechanisms that take into account the vulnerability and best interests of children are scarce. For instance, there seem to be no special measures aimed at ensuring that child victims and suspects are provided with the necessary information during proceedings. This would seem to be a rather important element in ensuring child friendly justice. The position of the child victim and child witness is generally the same given that the criminal action is a public action prosecuted by the police or the Attorney General. In fact, the position of the victim is traditionally that of witness. Nevertheless, there are certain measures that allow for more active participation of victims when compared to other witnesses. These measures typically apply to both adults and children. With reference to child suspects, the most important child friendly measures are the existence of the Juvenile Court and the availability of care orders issued by the Minister for social welfare. The Juvenile Court provides a somewhat more child-friendly setting than the normal courts of criminal justice. Care orders, on the other hand, can constitute an alternative to imprisonment for children convicted of a criminal offence. However, these measures are only available for children under 16 years of age. Children between 16 and 18 years of age will be tried in the same court as adults. Moreover, children under 16 years charged jointly with a person over 16 years of age will also be tried in the same court as an adult and will not benefit from the special measures available in the Juvenile Court. It must be noted that the age threshold for criminal responsibility in Malta is very low (nine years of age). Children between 9 and 14 years of age are exempt from criminal responsibility for any act or omission done without mischievous discretion (that is, knowledge of the wrongfulness of the act and its consequences). However, if children in this age group act with a mischievous discretion they are liable to punishment. For children between 14 and 18 years of age, the applicable punishment is diminished by one or two degrees. The punishments that can be imposed on adults can also be imposed on children but certain reductions may be applied in favour of children depending on their age. Once the child reaches 18 years of age, there is full criminal responsibility
Description: Acknowledgement: The University of Malta would like to acknowledge its gratitude to the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers for their permission to upload this work on OAR@UoM. Further reuse of this document can be made, provided the source is acknowledged. This work was made available with the help of the Publications Office of the European Union, Copyright and Legal Issues Section.
ISBN: 9789279334900
Appears in Collections:EU Publications - ERCLawEC

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