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Original name: Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland Xeerka Nidaamka Garsoorka Caruurta Lr./36/2007
Name: Juvenile Justice Law (Law No. 36/2007).
Country: Somalia
Subject(s): Criminal and penal law; Elimination of child labour, protection of children and young persons
Type of legislation: Law, Act
Adopted on: 2007
Entry into force:
ISN: SOM-2007-L-91559
Bibliography: Legislation on-line Legislation on-line http://www.somalilandlaw.com, Somaliland Law, Republic of Somaliland PDF of Law in Somali PDF of Law in Somali (consulted on 2012-11-16)
Abstract/Citation: The Act supplements the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and its provisions will apply to all criminal matters relating to juveniles. Article 13 of the Penal Code states that where an issue is governed by more than one criminal law, the special law shall, unless otherwise provided, prevail over the general law. Also to avoid gaps in the criminal law, Article 14 of the Penal Code confirms that the Penal Code shall still apply to matters governed by other special criminal laws, such as this Law, unless the special laws specifically provide otherwise. This Law does that in Article 3 by emphasizing that this Law will take precedence over all laws in matters relating to juvenile justice. The Penal Code will, therefore, continue to apply only in those situations, which are not expressly covered by this special law.

Unlike various other countries where the age of lack criminal responsibility (doli incapax) has been reduced over the years, Article 10 of this Law raises the age of criminal responsibility from 14, which it was under Article 59 of the Somali Penal Code, to 15. However, as in the Penal Code, minors aged 15 to 18 shall be liable for any criminal acts committed if they have the capacity of "understanding and volition". These changes are, however, more in line with the views of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (see their General comment No: 10 (2007) - para 30 - 39.

As set out in Chapter 2, Part 1 of the Law (and also in the Organisation of the Judiciary Law), all the courts of first instance (district & regional) as well as the appellate courts shall have sections dealing with juvenile cases. The juvenile sections, at first instance courts, shall consist of a judge and two lay assessors (Arts 18 & 19 of this Law). Lay assessors are chosen by the courts from lists prepared annually by the Minister of Justice under Article 38 of the Organisation of the Judiciary Law.

The punishment in juvenile cases shall not include death, life imprisonment, physical punishment or imprisonment of a period exceeding 15 years.
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