Georgia: Rights of Juvenile Defendants in Criminal Proceedings

Georgia's Juvenile Justice Code entered into force in 2016. The adoption of the new Code has been repeatedly commended as an important and progressive step; however, no thorough analysis has been carried out to see whether the entities involved in the administration of justice interpret it in a uniform way. Nor has the enforcement of the Code in practice or in the light of effective quality control system been studied either.

This study aims at assisting the government, after the entry into force of Juvenile Justice Code, to assess the situation with the protection of rights of juvenile defendants during criminal proceedings, identify shortcomings in this process and analyze them; also, to ensure a uniform interpretation and implementation of the existing legislation on juvenile defendants both by government entities and all other subjects involved in administering juvenile justice.

The study revealed significant shortcomings in the implementation of Juvenile Justice Code and active steps must be taken to eliminate them. Shortcomings were also seen in legislation as well as in practice which manifest in non-uniform interpretation of provisions. Moreover, the study showed that an effective quality control system is virtually absent in the area of juvenile justice.


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