Juvenile Justice Committee set up for first time in Islamabad.

ISLAMABAD -- After four years of the passing of the Juvenile Justice Act 2018, the Ministry of Law and Justice recently notified the first ever Islamabad Juvenile Justice Committees under Section 10 of Juvenile Justice System Act 2018.

The Juvenile Justice Committee (JJC) is the key pin in the transformation of Pakistan's juvenile justice system and a consequence of the personal interest taken by Chief Justice, Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah into the conditions of prisoners, particularly juvenile inmates at Adiala jail.

According to a statement of National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), following a report by NCHR on the allegations of torture and the incarceration of juvenile prisoners at Adiala prison, CJ ordered immediate implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act 2018 and the setup of Juvenile Justice Committees that play a strategic role in administering 'Diversion', an alternate intervention that redirect juvenile delinquents away from confinement in prison while still holding them accountable for their actions.

The justice committee constituted for each Sessions Division of Islamabad East and West comprising four members each; a Judicial magistrate with powers prescribed under section 30 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an advocate of the Supreme Court, district Prosecutor and a probation officer.

The JJSA 2018, which is in harmony with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and both the Mandela and Beijing Rules, is an important legislation which centers around 'best interest of the child' and introduces, for the first time in Pakistan, a new concept of juvenile rehabilitation.

Diversion allows for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders into society without exposing them to the further criminal elements within a prison system.

On the directions of Justice Mohsin Kayani, NCHR, with the help of civil society, will help train Committee officials and develop guidelines for the process of diversion in the country.

Sec 9 (4) of the JJSA act, authorizes the Justice Committees to dispose cases, with consent of the person against whom the offence was committed, by resorting to different modes of diversion including, restitution of movable property; reparation of the damage caused; written or oral apology; participation in community service and placement in Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre.

Unfortunately, despite lapse of four years, Rehabilitation Centers have also not yet been set up in Islamabad. Chief...

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