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Approval of Directives on How to Ensure the Intellectual Development and Perfection of Mature Individuals Less than 18 Years of Age in Crimes Subject to Hadd or Qisas (retribution)

The Islamic Penal Law approved in 2012 has introduced important changes in dealing with crimes committed by people less than 18 years of age, the most important of which is the amendment of Article 91 of this law. In an innovative measure, this article, in addition to the age of majority, also paid attention to age of intellectual (reason) development of the accused, stipulating that “In the case of commission of crimes punishable by Hadd or Qisas (retribution), when adults under eighteen years of age can not appreciate the nature of the crime committed or its legal prohibition, or their intellectual development and maturity are found to be questionable, the punishments provided in this law would be prescribed in view of the age of the perpetrators and the particulars of the case. To determine the development and perfection of reason in an individual, the court may ask for the opinion of a medical doctor or employ any other method it deems appropriate.”

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2023

Adolescence, Brain Development and Legal Culpability

2002, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of mentally retarded persons. This decision, Atkins v. Virginia, cited the underdeveloped mental capacities of those with mental retardation as a major factor behind the Justices’ decision.

Adolescence is a transitional period during which a child is becoming, but is not yet, an adult. An adolescent is at a cross- roads of changes where emotions, hormones, judgment, identity and the physical body are so in flux that parents and even experts struggle to fully understand.

As a society, we recognize the limitations of adolescents and, therefore, restrict their privileges to vote, serve on a jury, con- sume alcohol, marry, enter into contracts, and even watch movies with mature content. Each year, the United States spends billions of dollars to promote drug use prevention and sex edu- cation to protect youth at this vulnerable stage of life. When it comes to the death penalty, however, we treat them as fully func- tioning adults.

The Basics of the Human Brain

The human brain has been called the most complex three- pound mass in the known universe. This is a well deserved rep- utation, for this organ contains billions of connections among its parts and governs countless actions, involuntary and volun- tary, physical, mental and emotional.

The largest part of the brain is the frontal lobe. A small area of the frontal lobe located behind the forehead, called the pre- frontal cortex, controls the brain’s most advanced functions. This part, often referred to as the “CEO” of the body, provides humans with advanced cognition. It allows us to prioritize thoughts, imagine, think in the abstract, anticipate conse- quences, plan, and control impulses.

Along with everything else in the body, the brain changes significantly during adolescence. In the last five years, scientists, using new technologies, have discovered that adolescent brains are far less developed than previously believed.

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2005

General comment No. 26 on children’s rights and the environment

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has published General Comment No. 26 on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change on 22nd of August 2023. 

In this general comment, the Committee emphasizes the urgent need to address the adverse effects of environmental degradation, with a special focus on climate change, on the enjoyment of children’s rights, and clarifies the obligations of States to address environmental harm and climate change. The Committee also explains how children’s rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply to environmental protection, and confirms that children have a right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

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2023

Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on Child Rights Mainstreaming

When adopted in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) enshrined, for the first time in international law, the recognition of children as subjects of the full scope of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights,1 a culmination in the evolution of the concept of childhood and a paradigm shift from the perception of children as the property of their parents. Since then, the Convention became the most ratified international human rights treaty in history and has prompted deep, transformative changes for children across the world, including with support from the United Nations (UN). More children than ever before now have access to health, education, protection, and participation opportunities.

Yet, child rights today are often misunderstood, disregarded, or disputed.

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2023

“No One Believed Me”: A Global Overview of Women Facing the Death Penalty for Drug Offenses

This report examines how women’s gender shapes their pathways to drug offending and experiences in the criminal legal system, and how courts often ignore or disbelieve these gendered factors ….

In some countries, the overwhelming majority of women on death row were sentenced for capital drug offenses. This report examines how women’s gender shapes their pathways to drug offending and experiences in the criminal legal system, and how courts often ignore or disbelieve these gendered factors when imposing death sentences for drug offenses.

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2021

Convention on the rights of child (Info-graphic)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important agreement by countries who have promised to protect children’s rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explains who children are, all their rights, and the responsibilities of governments. All the rights are connected, they are all equally important and they cannot be taken away from children.

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Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System

The Guidelines for Action are addressed to the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations agencies and programmes, States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as regards its implementation, as well as Member States as regards the use and application of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice

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A case study of Iran\’s Child and Juvenile Court

In examining the charge of a 17-year-old teenager, the judge of this case, while observing domestic and international laws related to the rights of children and adolescents, based on scientific and professional theories in the field of child and adolescent psychology and counseling and issued a verdict in accordance with legal and international evidence.

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2020
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