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Juveniles who come into contact with the law are a particularly vulnerable group. They may be victims of abuse, in moral danger and in need of care, or unaware of their rights when they are accused of committing a crime. Zambia’s domestic laws recognize this vulnerability of juveniles and grant them special legal protections. One ongoing challenge for juvenile protection is the lack of a compendium on Zambian juvenile law.

To improve access to information on Zambian juvenile law, the Center for Law and Justice and Cornell Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic have co-authored this juvenile law handbook. The handbook offers a compendium of Zambian juvenile law, including the processing of juveniles in the criminal justice system. It synthesizes relevant constitutional and statutory law, case law, and international human rights law and highlights best practices that practitioners may consider when working on matters involving juveniles.

This handbook serves as a reminder that legal practitioners, judicial officers, and citizens alike are responsible for protecting the rights of juveniles. I hope that judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and legal officers will make frequent use of this handbook. Doing so will help to ensure that juveniles in Zambia are able to access justice through the courts.

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Juvenile Law Commons