The Society supports recommendation to rise age of criminal obligation

Rising the age of criminal responsibility would bring consistency across Scots Law, according to the Law Society of Scotland.


Scotland has one of the lowest ages of criminal responsibility worldwide at aged eight and the Law Society has actually invited recommendations to increase it.

In 2015 at stage 2 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, a modification had actually been tabled to rise the criminal age of obligation from eight to 12 to bring it into line with the age of criminal prosecution. It was defeated on the basis that the Scottish Government consented to more assessment on the problem.

The Scottish Government advisory group that was set up to consider the issue has actually consulted on a series of suggestions in relation to the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Ian Cruickshank, convener of the Law Society of Scotland s Criminal Law Committee, stated: Scotland s age of criminal obligation is currently the most affordable in Europe and we totally support the advisory group s recommendation to raise it from age 8 to 12. The interests of the kid need to be critical and it is important that their well-being is the focus of interest even in the challenging scenarios of upsetting behavior. We do not believe that children under the age of 12 needs to have their actions tape-recorded as criminal.

6There are likewise disparities in our law because the age of criminal duty is currently eight years, but the age at which a child can be prosecuted is 12. This produces confusion in people s understanding of criminal law and how it relates to children.

Mr. Cruickshank included: The present age of criminal obligation runs out kilter with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. While the convention does not specify an age of criminal duty, which ranges from age seven or 8 to 16 throughout various nations, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child made its position clear when it stated that setting the age below 12 was not to be worldwide acceptable.

The Law Society has likewise talked about the scope of authorities powers in relation to rising the age of criminal responsibility.

Mr. Cruickshank stated: We have concerns about the advisory group’s suggestion that the cops must have an unspecified power of detention, where a kid’s parents or careers are not ready to cooperate with essential enquires by police or social work.

While our company believes that the authorities must keep some powers, as they still need to examine the nature and degree of any supposed hazardous behavior, we believe there ought to be a general anticipation versus taking forensic samples from children aged 8 to 11. In remarkable cases where police are of the view that forensic samples should be obtained, our team believe an application for a warrant should be obtained from a sheriff and that any samples taken should not be kept.

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