Authors: Stephanie Rap, Ido Weijers and Kristien Hepping
According to international standards juvenile defendants should be given the opportunity to participate in the youth court hearing. This includes the right of the juvenile defendant to be heard, but also asks for courtroom procedures and practices adapted to the age and maturity of the defendant. Parents should be actively involved in the juvenile justice proceedings in the interest of their child. This article presents an overview of youth court practices in 11 Western European countries. There appear to be important differences in procedures and practices in the juvenile justice systems in these countries. These differences have to do with the difference between the inquisitorial and the adversarial legal tradition. The inquisitorial tradition seems to be better equipped to meet the international standards regarding the participation of juvenile defendants and parents in the youth court.
Keywords: juvenile justice, youth court, participation, juvenile defendants, parents