According to the opening paragraph, one objective of the new Child Justice Act is to â€œentrench the notion of restorative justice in the criminal justice system in respect of children who are in conflict with the law.â€ The legislation goes on to define restorative justice as:
â€œan approach to justice that aims to involve the child offender, the victim, the families concerned and community members to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations through accepting responsibility, making restitution, taking measures to prevent a recurrence of the incident and promoting reconciliation.â€
Diversion alternatives include both family group conferencing and victim offender mediation. According to the â€œminimum standards for diversion optionsâ€ a diversion programme must among other things:
For those young offenders who do go through the child justice court, the Act provides for both community and â€œrestorative justiceâ€ sentences. These include referring the case to a family group conference, victim-offender mediation, or â€œany other restorative justice process which is in accordance with the definition of restorative justice.â€
Read recent news article about the Child Justice Act:
â€¢ An Act of Compassion by Don Pinnock in the Mail and Guardian from June 3.
â€¢ UNICEF welcomes signing of Child Justice Bill into Law
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