A Centurial Legal History of Child Justice Reforms in Nigeria 1914-2014

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Ogunniran, I.
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The paper analyses the development of child justice during three main periods in Nigeria. From 1914-1943, juvenile delinquency emerged as a distinct social problem; specific laws were enacted relating to children; Reformatory and Industrial Schools were established across the country. From 1943-2003, the colonial masters enacted the Children and Young Persons Ordinance for the treatment of young offenders. After independence in 1960, this remained the law regulating juvenile justice. However, most juvenile offenders were not granted bail by police, the juvenile courts structure and procedure were not protective. Offenders were sent to institutions but extensive researches carried out across the country showed that the facilities for rehabilitation were non-existent at such institutions. This paper argues that the period, 2003-2014, have recorded positive improvement. The Child Rights Act (2003) introduces key reforms such as codified legal rights for children, diversion, Centralised Children Police Unit, Family Courts and two novel non-custodial disposition methods. The author recommends the implementation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Observations to fully protect child offenders in Nigeria.
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Police , Juvenile courts , Children's right , Family courts , Research Subject Categories::LAW/JURISPRUDENCE::Public law
Ogunniran, I. (2015). A Centurial Legal History of Child Justice Reforms in Nigeria 1914-2014