The Supreme People’s Court has urged lower and military courts to speed up the opening of courtrooms that are friendly to people under 18 years old.— Illustrative Image congan.com.vn
HÀ NỘI Viet Nam News -— The Supreme People’s Court has urged lower and military courts to speed up the opening of courtrooms that are friendly to people under 18 years old.
The move complies with regulations in Việt Nam’s Law on Criminal Procedure, which passed last year and will take effect in July.
Accordingly, courtrooms must be arranged to ensure solemnity, safety and equality between those who implement public prosecution and defenders.
In cases when suspected offenders are under 18 years old, the courtrooms must be friendly and suitable for them.
The Supreme People’s Court studied and developed courtroom models for normal crimes and juvenile crimes.
In normal criminal courts, the suspected offender stands in front of a jury and court’s clerk. Prosecutors and defenders or lawyers sit on the two sides of the suspected offenders. Interpreters, guardians, witness and victims sit behind the defendant.
In juvenile court, the accused are allowed to stand next to their guardian and lawyers so they can feel reassured and confident during the court hearing. There might be no bar in the court room.
On Monday, the HCM City People’s Court launched the Family and Juvenile Court, the country’s first specialised court for children in Việt Nam.
The creation of the court is part of wider child justice reform introduced under the reformed Law on Handling of Administrative Violations, the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code.
This includes new mechanisms to divert children from formal administrative and criminal systems, promotion of community-based rehabilitation as an alternative to detention, and reintegration for children in conflict with the law – as well as child-friendly, gender-sensitive procedures.
Chief Justice Trương Hòa Bình of the Supreme People’s Court of Việt Nam said that the establishment of the Family and Juvenile Court in the People’s Court system showed Việt Nam’s strong commitment in realising children’s rights, especially for children in contact with law, he said.
According to statistics by the Ministry of Public Security, more than 17,000 crimes were committed by 25,000 children and juveniles in the country in the last two years.
From 2007 to 2013, about 63,600 crimes were reported nationwide, with an increase of 4,300 crimes when compared with the number of juvenile crimes reported from 2001 to 2006. Juvenile delinquency is said to be at an alarming level both in number and seriousness. — VNS