PAKISTAN: Consultation on JJSO 2000 and the role of Lawyers

Summary: Juvenile Justice Network (JJN) and SPARC's
Child Rights Committee Charsadda organized
one-day consultative workshop on the role of
Lawyers under the Juvenile Justice System
Ordinance (JJSO) 2000 at Bar Room Charsadda
on 23rd December. More than 100 members of
Charsadda Bar attended the Consultation.
Mr. Jawad Ullah, Program Coordinator SPARC, gave a brief account of
SPARC and its District level Advocacy through Child Rights Committees and
said that JJSO has been the first Federal law; on child rights that
determines the age of child as below 18 years of age.

Mr. Arshad Mahmood, Coordinator JJN and Deputy National Coordinator
SPARC, brain stormed the participants about the developments after the
promulgation of the Ordinance in 2000. The most important aspect of this
very ordinance, besides certain features, is the provision of free legal aid
to the deserving juveniles at the expense of State and Peshawar High
Court has notified all the District and Session Judges of the Province to
form Panels of Lawyers for the purpose added Mr. Mahmood.

The Law has recently been extended to PATA with our continuous efforts
however it is yet to be extended to FATA. It is due to this very
discrimination with the people of the tribal areas that children as young as
two years old are convicted by name. Mr. Mahmood also requested
Charsadda Bar to join hands with JJN in its campaign against the
imprisonment of children and women under the FCR.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Noor Alam Khan Advocate threw light on the
salient features of the Ordinance and said that the purpose of the law is
the reformation and protection of the children coming in conflict with the
law. The law is more lenient on the release of children on probation, bail
and abolishes the death penalty for minors to serve the purpose of the
reformation and rehabilitation of a child. Imprisonment has been defined as
the last resort keeping in view the best interest of a child.

Mr. Shams-Ur-Rahman Advocate, President Charsadda Bar, thanked JJN for
organizing of the workshop and gave a more in depth insight of the law to
the lawyers about their role and its salient features. He also assured full
cooperation on behalf of Charsadda Bar for the proper implementation of
law in the District.

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