This booklet discusses the rights of children who are in conflict with the law and accused of committing offences and how they must be dealt with in terms of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (CJA). The CJA provides for a child-specific approach to responding to these children and builds on section 28(1)(g) of the Constitution, which provides that:
“g. not to be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case, in addition to the rights a child enjoys under sections 12 and 35, the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and has the right to be –
i. kept separately from detained persons over the age of 18 years; and
ii. treated in a manner, and kept in conditions, that take into account
the child’s age; …”
Furthermore, the CJA provides for the child justice system that ensures that the procedures followed when dealing with children in conflict with the law and accused of committing offences safeguard their interests.