The Sentencing System in the Albanian Criminal Code and the Demand for Special Tretament of Juveniles

Jola Xhafo
Juveniles are subject to a cognitive process and growth, where the physical, intellectual, emotional and personality are still in phase of development phase. As a result, they enjoy a special status which arises the demand for their specialized treatment. The status as a minor in criminal matters raises the need to create a system consisting of different rules, which should take into consideration the physical and psychological peculiarities of the child and his educational needs. This system should be oriented towards the goal of juvenile education, rehabilitation and development, goal which can be successfully implemented only if it is reflected in the nature and types of sanctions applied to juveniles. In the application of sanctions it should be taken into consideration the need for education, assistance and welfare of the juvenile. Prison sentence and other similar measures should be considered as a last resort and used in order to reduce only when other forms of treatment do not comply with the personality of the offender and the seriousness of the offense. Priority should be given to educational and non-institutional measures. These requirements impose the necessity of legal interventions in the system of sanctions to address the needs for special treatment in accordance with the personality of the children and their individual needs for education. This paper aims at a critical analysis of the sentencing system provided in the Criminal Code, in the focus of the standards set by the international instruments which safeguard in a special manner the juvenile as a criminal offender. Through the analysis of legal provisions as well as referring to the juridical doctrine and court jurisprudence, there will be evidenced some issues related to the special treatment of juvenile criminal offenders in the field of the system of sentencing. After a detailed analysis, there will be provided conclusions and concrete recommendations on the current stage of the sentencing system, its’ compliance with the need for special treatment of juvenile criminal offenders, the need for improvement as well as the concrete legal initiatives to be adopted.

Sentencing system, Sentence of imprisonment, Special treatment, Alternative measures, Educational measures

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