DCI – Beijing Rules 4

Defence for Children International

Beijing Rules


A juvenile is

defined as a child or young person who, under the respective legal systems, may

be dealt with for an offence in a manner which is different from an adult. Thus

the Rules look to the nature of the punishment of the offence rather than the

offender in determining who is a juvenile. The later JDL Rules amend the

definition of juvenile to any person under the age of 18, which is consistent

with the definition of a child given at Article 1 of the Convention on the

Rights of the Child.

An offence is

any behaviour that is punishable by law under the States respective legal


Juvenile Offender

is a child or young person who is alleged to have committed or has been found to

have committed an offence.

Application of the Rules

Rules also apply to juveniles who may be punished for any specific behaviour not

punishable if committed by an adult, “status offences”, (e.g.

truancy), juveniles in welfare and care proceedings and young adult offenders.

Fundamental Principles

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