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Monday 16th of July 2018

Press Room

Trinidad and Tobago to introduce Children’s Courts

Thursday 30th of November 2017
Juvenile Justice in the world

Three specialised Children’s Courts will be introduced in Fyzabad, Port of Spain and Tobago at the end of this year, as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Juvenile Court Project (JCP). The Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced the JCP initiative in order to better protect child offenders and victims’ rights, in accordance with the Children Act 2012 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The Trinidad and Tobago government, judiciary, Children’s Authority and police have collaborated to implement the JCP, which also includes the development of new inter-agency juvenile justice protocols and of Judge’s Rules, a code of practice for the guidance of the Police in cases involving child offenders.

Standard adult courts currently deal with cases involving children in Trinidad and Tobago. From the end of 2017, the Children’s Courts will manage all cases involving crimes committed by persons under the age of 18, including serious offences such as murder, rape and robbery.

The Children’s Courts will also manage the care and protection of children, treatment for children affected by drug and mental health issues, cases where a child is required to appear in court and those where a child has been affected as a victim or bystander of a crime, including domestic violence cases.

The Children’s Courts will operate from a restorative justice basis, emphasising rehabilitation rather than punitive measures for young offenders, as well as a preventative approach to youth crime.

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