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Bergen county court refuses to jail the young

Bergen county court has ruled that Norwegian law have to yield for the UN’s Children’s Convention, and therefore refused to jail a person under the age of 18.

Bergen county court referred to the UN’s Children’s Convention when it sentenced a 17-year-old boy to 60 days of community punishment for fraud and for several counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

The prosecuting authority had requested six moths immediate imprisonment, and according to past ruling, these counts would have qualified for imprisonment, according to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

John Christian Elden, the 17-year-old’s lawyer, said that the sentencing is principal.

According to the UN’s Children’s Convention, individuals are children until the age of 18, and arrest, confinement or imprisonment of children should only be used «as the last resort and for the shortest possible time.»

District attorney Harald Strand at the District Attorney’s office said that the prosecuting authority regardless try to the best of their abilities to avoid asking for imprisonment of young criminals.

According to numbers of the Justice Department, there are at all times about 10 persons under the age of 18 in Norwegian prisons. The number includes charged persons who are held on remand.

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