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The justice system for minors who come into conflict with the criminal law has seen tremendous change in normative terms over the last decade and a half. The redesigning of the system of protection and justice for minors in Ghana has been occasioned by the adoption of a new national constitution, and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child as domesticated under the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) and other national legislations enacted to support their implementation. These normative changes have resulted in a shift in philosophy regarding the treatment of children under the laws of Ghana. This shift has led to the removal of proceedings affecting children from the Criminal Procedure Code and has resulted in the setup of separate legal regimes for children who come to the attention of the law due to personal circumstances and those who come into conflict with the law as lawbreakers. Unfortunately, the changes have not manifested themselves in practice, thereby creating a gap between the law and practice, which must receive attention if the affected children are to benefit from the improvements occasioned by constitutional and statutory changes in the laws on juvenile justice.
Unfortunately the normative and other changes have not manifested in changed practices, thereby creating a gap between the theory and practice which must receive attention if the affected children are to benefit from the improvements occasioned by constitutional and statutory changes in the law on juvenile justice.
KeywordsReform Juvenile Juvenile justice Hearings Juvenile court Custodial institutions
I am indebted to my research assistant Cletus Alengah for the many hours of research he has invested in this project.