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Children’s Access to Justice in Jersey: Obstacles and Impediments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2022

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Summary

INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY

Jersey is in the Channel Islands and is the most southerly island of the British Isles and yet, it is not part of the United Kingdom. Out of a population of 104,000, there are 20,469 0–17-year-olds. In 2019 the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Jersey) Law was passed and established the role of Children’s Commissioner.

As the Commissioner I was asked by the Government to undertake research to consider the extent to which Jersey legislation complied with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This was part of an ongoing collaboration between the Commissioner and the Government to make Children’s rights a reality by ensuring that all domestic legislation is fully compatible with the CRC and that the Convention‘s principles and provisions can be directly applied and appropriately enforced. I also launched the Child Friendly Justice project due to concerns raised about youth justice reported in the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) in 2017. The focus of the project has been to consider if Children’s access to justice is sufficiently guaranteed and to identify the barriers to achieving access to justice.

This contribution will look at findings related to youth justice in Jersey, which have resulted from work undertaken by my office over the past three years. I will be drawing on three main themes to support my conclusions.

The first of these is the current level of compliance of Jersey legislation with the CRC. I will be referencing a substantial piece of research that was carried out in 2019 and 2020 on behalf of the Children’s Commissioner in Jersey by Swansea University‘s Observatory on the Human Rights of Children. This year-long project was the first piece of work to be undertaken by the Commissioner using statutory powers and culminated in the publication of a Legislative Gap Analysis (LGA) in September 2020. The LGA is based on an independent analysis of Jersey legislation and provides a comprehensive picture of the extent to which Jersey legislation complies with the CRC.

Type
Chapter
Information
Children's Access to Justice
A Critical Assessment
, pp. 109 - 122
Publisher: Intersentia
Print publication year: 2022

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