Juvenile Courtroom Interactions: Verbal and Bodily Performances as an Object of Exchange with the Judges

By Bengü Kurtege Sefer.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article scrutinizes (un)successful patterns in verbal and bodily performances of different actors- judges, lawyers, suspects and litigants- to make justifications and accusations in courtroom hearings with reference to property crime trials at the juvenile court in Istanbul. The content of accounts and representational styles addressing the judges as an audience with different intentions illustrate the patterns of adjudication. The aim is to illustrate the general isolation of the accused juveniles in the courtroom, deprived of legal aid, considered as unreliable for supplying accurate information against litigants, and subjectified only when they comply with legal language and display the role of regretful child. The new juvenile justice policy in Turkey oscillates between policing and rehabilitation. These performances show how the preceding side of the policy actualizes itself in the courtroom hearings. In trials, generally, the accused juveniles were prosecuted as dangerous adult offenders and the objective was to provide justice to the victims instead of targeting the eradication of the causes of property crimes.

Keywords: New Juvenile Justice Policy in Turkey Courtroom Interactions, (un) Successful Verbal and Bodily Performances, Isolation of the Accused Juveniles in the Courtroom

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.201-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 698.727KB).

Bengü Kurtege Sefer

PHD Student, The Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

I graduated from the Deparment of Sociology in Science and Literature Faculty at Bogazici University in 2007. Then, I completed my MA thesis, “ The Historical Politics of Juvenile Justice System and the Operation of Law in the Juvenile Court in Istanbul in Regard to Property Crimes” in June, 2009. I have continued my PHD education in the same institute since September, 2009. My fields of interests are criminology and legal anthropology.

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