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Process at the Criminal Court

A juvenile offender will be prosecuted at the ordinary Criminal Court if he/she is sent back by the Family Court. A decision refers the case to the public prosecutor. The basis of this decision is the view that the juvenile should be subjected to normal Criminal Court proceedings due to the serious nature of the crime or the circumstances of the case, on the condition that a juvenile is 14 years old or over when he/she committed the crime. Juvenile criminal cases shall be governed by the same rules as non-juvenile criminal cases, except for what is provided for the Juvenile Law. The Family Court also refers the case to the public prosecutor when it ascertains that the person is 20 years of age or over. A public prosecutor must act in this case. The Criminal Court proceedings for juvenile offenders are the same as those for adult offenders. In other words, juveniles 14 years or older can be transferred to the adult Criminal Court and face regular criminal prosecution as if they were adult criminals (Daniel 2007). The Criminal Court judge chooses the kind of punishment and determines its term or degree with broad discretion. The juvenile found culpable is incarcerated in a juvenile prison if sentenced by a Criminal court judge.

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