Alex Cole-Hamilton has called for age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, a former youth charity worker, has called for the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland to be raised to 14. The UN suggests that 12 should be an absolute minimum baseline. On both sides of the border, we fall short of this. In England and Wales, it’s 10 and in Scotland just 8.

The Scottish Government is putting forward legislation to raise it in line with the UN minimum guidelines, but Alex says that it doesn’t go far enough:

Scotland is the only country in the EU where children as young as eight can find themselves with a criminal record, in defiance of UN and Commonwealth guidelines. Some could be required to declare convictions for the rest of their lives. That means a bad decision made when a child is of primary school age can destroy their chances of getting on throughout their working life.

Despite a host of evidence, the Scottish Government has slow walked these proposals. Twice in the last Parliament it voted down Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility.

Now that we have an opportunity for action, the Government should not be content to do the bare minimum. They should set their sights higher and raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 in line with best practice.

We all want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up. That means treating children as children, not criminals.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

One Comment

  • John Barrett 13th Nov '18 - 10:55am

    Is there any evidence to show that if the age rises to 14, that there will not be an increased problem with people who would use 12 and 13 year olds for criminal activity, knowing that the youngsters could not be held responsible for their actions.

    As a non expert on the matter, 8 does appear to be too young and 14 appears to be too old.

    There will be no correct age for everyone, which makes this a difficult problem for legislators.

    Anyone who has dealt with children knows there are some very grown up, or adult-like children, at the same age as others who are still very childlike.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael Berridge 23rd Aug - 1:02pm
    "The leavers will have lost nothing, except the chance to squeeze through a flawed and massively unpopular decision by undemocratic means." That makes perfect sense...
  • User AvatarJohn Littler 23rd Aug - 12:59pm
    I like the cabinet. Everyone gets a go
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 23rd Aug - 12:54pm
    The idea of revoking while committing to launch a second referendum sounds superficially attractive. However, the ruling that the UK would be free to revoke...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 23rd Aug - 12:51pm
    Richard I do not see we miss the point, we can surely discuss our new leader and her position, it is about Brexit also Jo...
  • User AvatarThomas 23rd Aug - 12:46pm
    TCO - all those Continental European countries with free tuition university have lower inequality and more robust economy than Britain. You haven't showed us the...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Dron 23rd Aug - 12:46pm
    @David Raw/IanAnderson(RM3) - do pack in the superciliousness, though, as you are clearly omniscient, you'll no doubt be able to provide us with an exposition...
Sat 24th Aug 2019
Thu 29th Aug 2019
Mon 9th Sep 2019