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At issue in In re Gault (1967) was the constitutionality of juvenile court proceedings. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its only case on point, held that juveniles have a right to notice of the charges against them as well as the rights to counsel, to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and to exercise the privilege against self-incrimination.

Gault is noteworthy as an important part of the due process revolution of the 1960s, during which the guarantees of the Bill of Rights were made applicable to the states. Gault was a landmark because by affording procedural due process rights to juveniles, the very nature of the juvenile process was irrevocably changed.

Facts of the Case

Fifteen-year-old Gerald Gault, who was already on a six-month probation order, was accused of making ...

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