International Children Day was celebrated in China on June 1. On this occasion, the Swedish Embassy together with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in China organized an Experts’ Exchange on Juvenile Justice.
Twelve Chinese experts in the field of Juvenile Justice gathered and exchanged their views at the event. Various topics such as the new criminal procedure law, the best interest of the child in criminal procedure, and the role of various actors in reintegrating a child into society after he or she is found guilty of a crime were discussed.
In a short interview, moderators of the Experts’ Exchange Ms. Wang Xin and Mr. David Karlsson answered some questions here below.
Q: What is juvenile justice and why is it of interest in China today?
A: When a child or young person comes into conflict with the law, special considerations must be taken due to the very fact that children and young persons have different needs than adults. To ensure that children and young people that have become offenders are successfully rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, the justice system must ensure that procedures that respect the rights of the child and take the development of the child into consideration are put in place. This must be ensured throughout the justice system, from investigation to trial proceedings to sanctions or penalties. It must also involve all relevant actors, police, prosecutors, lawyers, judges, social workers and correctional officers. Juvenile justice is a concept used to describe these issues.
Q: What did you think about today’s Experts’ Exchange?
A: The expert exchange today was very useful in highlighting improvements in the Chinese juvenile justice system while at the same time identifying remaining challenges. All countries must continuously strive to improve its juvenile justice system, and the revisions in the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law are very important steps in the right direction. The experts were able to highlight where focus now should be put in order to take further steps to improve the system. We also heard about challenges and good practices from other countries, and it is always useful to get comparative perspectives on difficult issues such as juvenile justice.