Australian lawmakers urged to raise age of criminal responsibility
A leading child aid agency has called for Australia's age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 14, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Paul Ronalds, chief executive officer of Save the Children, confirmed he has written to all Attorneys-General in the country, urging them to lift the age as the status quo is out of line with international standards.
He cited studies that have found criminalizing children at a young age has no benefit.
"In fact, it often traps vulnerable children in a cycle of disadvantage from which many never escape," said Ronalds, according to the News Corp Australia on Friday.
"Contrary to some popular rhetoric, the existing law makes our communities less safe because it means more children are likely to reoffend -- including as adults -- rather than being diverted on to a better path."
Responding to Ronalds, Vickie Chapman, the Attorney-General of South Australia, said that It's important to note the age of criminal responsibility varies across the world, ranging from no age at all, to 18.
"In Australia for children between the ages of 10 and 14 the common law presumption of doll incapax applies."
"This is a rebuttable presumption that the child does not know the difference between right and wrong, and is incapable of forming the mental element of an offence."