The National Assembly approved yesterday the draft for a new Juvenile Law and turned it over to the government for its perusal and approbation. The new draft law supplants a 1983 law where the age of a juvenile offender was set at below 18. The new law sets it at below 16.
The thrust of the new law is geared toward rehabilitation not severe punishment and in that spirit it withholds criminal responsibility for any offender below the age of seven. When meting out criminal sentences to juvenile delinquents, the new law separates out two classifications for these juveniles, one group is those whose ages fall between seven and 15, and the other between 15 and 16.
Furthermore, the new law stipulates the necessity for a juvenile court, a police force for juvenile delinquency, centers for detention of delinquents rather than prisons, and centers for their rehabilitation. These rehabilitation centers should be able to equip the offender to take up a meaningful job in a factory, a business, or on a farm.
No juvenile offender will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, advises the new law, and in the case the offense is a crime punishable by death, the offender, whose age is between 15 and 16, will get a maximum sentence of 15 years in detention. The new draft law prohibits any publication, print or electronic, from publishing details of crimes perpetrated by juveniles and from showing their photos.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly approved drafts of a number of laws regarding international agreements signed by Kuwait and several countries and international organizations. Among these agreements, a protocol on crimes committed on board airplanes, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Kuwait and UNDP, an accord on marine commerce between Kuwait and Turkey. Also, a military agreement between Kuwait and Canada regarding the construction of a military base, and an agreement on Kuwait’s joining the Arab civil aviation authority.
Other agreements approved by the National Assembly involved one between Kuwait and Egypt on avoiding double taxation, and one between Kuwait and the United States on the implementation of the tax rules of FATCA. Another one was amending some GCC rules regarding commercial dumping. First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah thanked the lawmakers in today’s parliamentary session for having endorsed these international agreements.