FINANCIAL LIABILITY AND CHILD OFFENDERS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords:pecuniary liability, child offenders, financial position, potential latent financial liability, accountability of parents, contribution orders
This submission is a theoretical examination of pecuniary liability in the case of child offenders in terms of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. It considers the financial position of child offenders in the ordinary course of criminal action viz. the obligation to pay bail, fine(s) or compensation orders, etc. Thereafter the potential latent financial liability of parents arising from the criminal actions of their offspring will be considered. The financial and legal accountability of parents will be considered and compared with the position of South African parents as opposed to that of parents in England and Wales. Finally, the submission queries, the practical operation and implementation of contribution orders in terms of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. A comparison of the use of such orders with the practice in the United States of America follows. The submission postulates that contribution orders are merely one example of potential financial liability for criminal conduct within the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008, which may materially affect the parent(s), guardian, or appropriate adult responsible for the care of a child offender.
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