JAMAICA: Access to justice for children

This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

Jamaica has ratified but not incorporated the CRC into its domestic law, and courts do not directly refer to the CRC in their rulings. Nevertheless, children, with the assistance of their "next friend", can bring cases to court challenging violations of their rights, including actions for redress for breaches of their constitutional rights, judicial review of administrative decisions, civil claims, and private prosecutions. The Office of the Children's Advocate, and other groups or bodies with a sufficient interest in the matter, may also bring proceedings on behalf of a child or in the public interest. Several obstacles to access to justice exist in Jamaica. The testimony of children under the age of 14 is only admissible if they are deemed to be of "sufficient intelligence" and, in criminal trials, must be corroborated by "other material evidence" to convict the accused. The Jamaican court system also suffers from a growing backlog of cases, and trials in many cases are delayed for years.

Download the full report.

Promotional Image: 


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.