Why we should not rush to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia

Why we should not rush to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia

The Conversation

The campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia from 10 to 14 continues to gather pace; but Dr Terry Goldsworthy, a former police officer and now Associate Professor at Bond University, argues that incarceration of youth offenders is a sentencing outcome rather than a determination of criminal responsibility, and raising the age of responsibility will do little to address the underlying causes of youth crime. The “raise the age” campaign seeks to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia so that a person under the age of 14 years isn’t criminally responsible for any act or omission they commit. Such a move has been mirrored by proposed legislative bills in various states. But is raising the age of criminal responsibility justified, and what are the implications if we do? Currently in Australia, the Commonwealth and all states and territories set the minimum age of criminal responsibility at ten.

Read the opinion piece here.

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

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