Legal Issues in Implementing the Community Service Orders for Child Offenders in Malaysia

  •  Norazla Abdul Wahab    
  •  Mohd Al Adib Samuri    
  •  Zuliza Mohd Kusrin    
  •  Anita Abdul Rahim    


Community service orders are a proposed alternative form of punishment for children who have been or are in conflict with the law. Despite an absence of clear laws in Malaysia pertaining to this order regarding its application to child offenders, it is nonetheless viewed as a more suitable form of punishment in protecting a child offender’s best interest compared to a fine or a sentence of imprisonment. In light of the above, the objective of this article is to analyse two main legal issues relating to the future implementation of community service orders as an alternative form of sentence, such as the number of credit hours per sentence and the types of community service activities to be implemented. The research has shown that there is no uniformity in determining the minimum and maximum amount of credit hours in implementing community service orders against child offenders where some countries may have the maximum of 80 to 150 hours and 8 to 10 hours for the minimum. The research also found that community service orders have greatly benefited both the society and child offenders; the child offenders will be integrated back to the society and might as well undergo their rehabilitation process. This research may be significant in preparing guidelines or a complete implementation model for community service orders applicable to child offenders in Malaysia, as well as a reference for the Officers in the Community Service Department and Magistrates in the Child Courts in Malaysia.

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