Garda Diversion of Young Offenders: An Unreasonable Threat to Due Process Rights?
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, Vol. 6, p. 13, 2005
12 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2007 Last revised: 21 Aug 2008
Diversion programmes play a significant role in the field of youth justice, as an alternative to the conventional court process, which aim to prevent the entry of the child into the formal justice system. A non - statutory diversion programme entitled the Garda (police) Liaison Scheme was established in Ireland in 1963, and was placed on a statutory footing by part 4 of the Children Act 2001, an Act which represents a major reform of the law pertaining to young justice. This article seeks to establish whether the purported benefits of the Garda (police) diversion programme outweigh any infringements on the rights of the child. The relevance of traditional due process rights in the context of the diversion programme is explored, as is the possibility that the diversion programme so differs from court proceedings as to warrant the application of a modified rights framework which departs from the conventional due process model.
Keywords: criminal justice, due process, juvenile justice
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