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Juvenile Justice in Spain: Past and Present

Rechea Alberola, Cristina
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. 19(4): 384-412.

Although the juvenile justice system in Spain emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, in
accordance with the general movement at that moment in theWestern world, the distinctive circumstance of the Franco dictatorship (1939 to 1975) meant that Spain maintained a tutelary
approach while things were changing in the rest of theWesternworld. Spain presently has a criminal
responsibility law for juveniles, Organic Law 5/2000 of January 12, which came into effect
January 13, 2001 at a moment when criminal justice policy in general and juvenile justice policy
in particular were in crisis. Although the law initially was conceived as a progressive law, the end
result, after some criminal justice policy decisions,was the minimizing of some of the fundamental
principles of law. Spain, in this sense, has embraced a much more repressive approach, paralleling
new trends elsewhere in the Western world.


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