The article analyzes the standards and constraints that Constitutional Courts and International Courts of Human Rights have imposed on juvenile sentencing. It is argued that although the rulings of these tribunals tend to limit the punishment that may be imposed on juveniles on the basis of the acknowledgment that their developmental differences reduce their culpability, the limiting effectiveness of this argument is compromised, falling quite short of the requirements raised by the universal system for children’s rights, due to the inclusion of “dangerousness” criteria in these rulings which are relatively immune to the reasons based on diminished culpability. In contrast with this, the demands concerning the humanity of punishments and the requirement that their execution shall make reintegration into society possible, when evaluated on the basis of the special developmental needs of juveniles, seem to translate into more effective limits.


children's rights juvenile's criminal liability diminished culpability juvenile sentencing constitutional standards