Community Sanctions and the Sanctioning Practice in Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe
There is a consensus all over Europe and worldwide that depriving young offenders of their liberty should be avoided wherever possible. This idea has been confirmed repeatedly by international standards of the United Nations (see for example the so-called Beijing Rules of 1985) 1 and the Council of Europe (see for example the Recommendation (2003)20 on “New ways of dealing with juvenile delinquency and the role of juvenile justice”).
Juvenile justice systems therefore typically provide a variety of community sanctions that are less infringing on juveniles' rights and at the same time more educative and more promotional of social re-integration. 2 One appropriate way of dealing with less serious crime is to divert young offenders from juvenile courts and from possible stigmatisation or other negative effects of more serious justice interventions. This issue is covered in the chapter on diversion (see Dünkel in this volume) that highlights quite extensive diversionary practices (at least in some countries) which at the same time seem to be no less “re-integrative” than formal court proceedings, and which are in line with Rule No. 7 of Rec (2003)20 mentioned above. 3