Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility
The age for criminal responsibility in Australia is currently 10 years old. The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child calls all nations to maintain a minimum age of criminal responsibility of 14 to 16. While many countries have complied with this recommendation, Australia has fallen behind.
Following the release of former Police commissioner Bob Atkinson’s report into Youth Justice, individuals and organisations including Amnesty International have urged the Australian government to raise the age.
Amnesty International has highlighted the damaging repercussions the current age has for Australian children, particularly Indigenous children who are overrepresented in the Justice system.