Growing support to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility

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In a unanimous decision last weekend, the Law Council of Australia has voiced its support in advocating for the minimum age of criminal responsibility to be lifted from 10 to 14 years old to improve justice outcomes for children who have committed alleged criminal activities.

The Council’s policy on this decisive issue was amended which had previously called for the age specifications when arresting and charging young offenders to be raised to at least 12 years old.

Law Council of Australia President, Arthur Moses SC describes the current Australian state, territorial and federal laws which results in a child under the age of 14 being held in custody for lengthy periods of time as being “far too low” and sees the wrongful mass incarceration of children, including First Nations Australians as “a national tragedy”.

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