Friday 2 December 2016

Scotland Is Set To Raise Age of Criminal Responsibility To 12 Years


Scotland’s minimum age of criminal responsibility will be raised from 8 years to 12 years.

Mark McDonald, minister for childcare and early years, announced on Thursday afternoon that the Scottish government would bring forward legislation to raise the age by four years, calling the case for it “clear and compelling”.

In a statement to Holyrood, McDonald told MSPs: “Having the lowest minimum age of criminal responsibility in Europe does not match with our progressive approach to youth justice and ambitions to give children the best start in life.”

A recent consultation with police, prosecutors and victims’ groups found that 95% supported an increase to the age of 12 or above.

In 2010, the Scottish government raised the age of criminal prosecution to 12, assuring that no one under that age could be prosecuted or sentenced in the criminal courts but would be dealt with through children’s hearings. However, those outcomes would still be added to children’s criminal records.



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