The Juvenile Court has jurisdiction in the first instance for crimes committed by minors between 14 and 18 years of age. According to Italian law, children under 14 years of age are not eligible to be prosecuted. it’s a two-judge and a two-psycologist panel who take the decision.
The process is primarily aimed to the rehabilitation and protection of the personality of the minor. In this type of process the constitution of civil party is not allowed.
The juvenile criminal procedure follows the pattern of the ordinary proceeding: the preliminary investigations, preliminary hearing and trial. With the consent of the accused, the process may be defined during the preliminary hearing. Always with the consent of the accused, the process may be suspended during the preliminary hearing to allow the testing of the child. If this testing proves positive, it determines the extinction of the offense that is declared by the Judge in a further hearing.
In the juvenile criminal procedure, there are only three special proceedings allowed: abbreviated trial, immediate trial and summary trial, with the exclusion of the proceedings by decree and the plea bargaining.
For the reason of respect for the minor, in the case of testing, it takes place in closed doors and it is not expected to proceed with cross examination because the questions are posed not by the parties, but by the president of the College.