Justice (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
20th Jun 2023
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
The ALA has broadly supported the Justice (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 in a recent submission to the ACT Parliamentary inquiry. Whilst we support raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years, we hold reservations about (1) the two-stage approach of initially raising it to 12 and then to 14 over a two-year period and (2) the carve out of some offences for children above 12 and below 14.
We highlight relevant empirical data on the limited capacity of children to comprehend the nature of their conduct and Australia’s international human rights obligations. We encourage the Government to consider comprehensive and properly funded alternative arrangements for minors involved in criminal behaviour including meaningful diversionary options that combine education and support.
The ALA’s submission can be read here.