GN Law - Our People News and TV

Would you expect to be told if your 17 year old child was arrested?

Our People - Andrew Guile
18 June, 2013

What is a juvenile?

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) defines a juvenile as a person “who appears to be under the age of 17.” As a result, the various obligations in PACE that afford protection to those under 17 do not apply. Elsewhere in the criminal justice system, a person is not considered to be an adult until they are 18 years old.

The case of R(on the application of HC) -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department & The Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis involved a judicial review of The Home Secretary’s refusal to amend Code C to give juvenile rights to 17 year olds. In HC, a 17 year old was arrested, not allowed to call his mother, given none of the rights a juvenile would get under PACE and released without charge after twelve hours in custody. The court found that not allowing him to contact his mother breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to private and family life) and also concluded that it was unlawful to treat 17 year olds as adults.

The government has confirmed that they will not appeal the decision and now must amend Code C to ensure that 17 year olds are treated as juveniles.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Andrew Guile founded GN Law together with Omiros Nicholas in 2006. Andrew specialises in all aspects of complaints and compensation claims against the police, mental health law and wills & probate litigation.

Related Articles

This article will explore a victim’s rights when disagreeing with a decision made by the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute a suspect. The police have investigatory powers and present their evidence to the CPS. The CPS are a body that determines whether there is a suitable amount of evidence to persuade...
Our People - Ayana Porteous Simpson
Emma Bergin provides a useful summary of the operation of Schedule 22 to the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Our People - GN
Emma Bergin takes us through the police powers as set out in Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Our People - GN
GN Law

Send a message

We will only use the information you enter in this form to contact you about your enquiry and will not share it with anyone else. Please read our Privacy Notice.