1. I support the amendments as stipulated in Section 71A. It is in line with the Constitution, specifically Section 28(1)(g), and with "Project Go" which aims at reducing the number of children in custody.
2: In the past the legislation was easily misinterpreted, but with the new wording in Section 71A(5) and (6) the magisterial discretion is limited. It is thus easier for a court to determine when a juvenile can be detained a police-cell or lockup.
3. The use of the word "and" between Section 71A(2) (a) and (b) also limits the powers of the police. If a parent or suitable person or institution can be found to care for the child, that child must be released even if it was in the interest of justice to detain the juvenile. This is a good control measure as the report from the police is only handed in after the detention and the detention could then have easily been misused.
4. The definition of the word "unconvicted" must be rephrased as it is vague and could be misinterpreted. At the present it is unclear if it means not convicted in general, thus a first offender or not convicted or sentenced on the charge for which is kept in detention.