"Terrorist children" on trial : international juvenile justice standards and terrorism proceedings against children
This thesis focuses on the impact of anti-terrorism legislation on children from the perspective of the proceedings against children accused of terrorism-related offences. Although the legal framework of counterterrorism and human rights has been broadly explored, the impact on children has not received the same attention. This is something of crucial importance, since anti-terrorism legislation often curtails the ordinary guarantees for criminal proceedings, thus affecting the whole set of international juvenile justice standards for children when facing terrorism trials. The thesis analyses the status of children’s human rights tackling the issue of their extraterritorial application and their derogability in times of emergency. The focus then turns on the child-specific rights within the justice system in the context of terrorism trials, through a series of national examples, thus showing the shortcomings of the application of anti-terrorism legislation and the child-specific rights affected. The thesis argues that the fundamental juvenile justice standards must be nevertheless upheld in terrorism trials concerning children and proposes a restorative, rather than punitive, approach in light of the general aims of juvenile justice, with a final general consideration on the application of anti-terrorism laws to children in the exercise of criminal jurisdiction.