Age of criminal responsibility and human rights
The Scottish Parliament is currently considering legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 8 years old. This issue has been raised frequently by UN reviews of Scotland’s progress on human rights. Whilst there has been widespread support to raise the age from 8 to 12, many children’s rights and criminal justice organisations are asking that this age be raised to 14 years old.
Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has written to the Minister for Children and Young People to urge the Scottish Government, in line with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and an upcoming new General Comment on juvenile justice from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, to raise this minimum age to 14 years at the very least. She notes that raising the minimum age only to 12 years would still leave Scotland behind most of the rest of the Council of Europe.
You can read this letter here: https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Equal_Opps/Inquiries/20181220LetterfromCOE.pdf
You can read the Bill and details of the evidence on the Bill here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/108266.aspx
Image credit: Rick Payette, flickr