INTERNATIONAL JUVENILE JUSTICE
AND RELATED ISSUES
Estatisticas da Justiça de Menores (Portugal)
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Portugal
Codigo Penal, Universidade Católica Lisboa
Justice Ministry may push to lower age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 for 'serious' crimes (Czech Rep.)
Call for rethink on age of criminal responsibility (NZ)
Japan Shocked by Brutal School Murder
am Werk; Kriminelle Kinder
Von Thomas Meier, Zürich
Age of Criminal Responsibility
by Gregor Urbas (Australian Institute of Criminology)
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
International standard (Beijing Rules): Age of Criminal Responsibility should be determined by emotional, mental, intellectual maturity and that it not be set too low.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child: Age should be guided by best interest of the child.
Old enough to be a criminal?
No age of innocence: Justice for children
The Age of Criminal Responsibility in Hong Kong
|Congo, Dem. Rep.||-|
| *Most states 11 or 12
years; age 11 for federal crimes.
**Age determined by state, minimum age is 7 in most states under common law. Others
***Age 9 for girls, 15 for boys.
****Official age of criminal responsibility, from age 12 children's actions are subject to juvenile legal proceedings.
Sources: CRC Country Reports (1992-1996); Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Delinquency in Central and Eastern Europe, 1995; United Nations, Implementation of UN Mandates on Juvenile Justice in ESCAP, 1994; Geert Cappelaere, Children's Rights Centre, University of Gent, Belgium.
Table from: http://www.unicef.org/pon97/p56a.htm
(Some information was updated by Dr. Schweizer)
Age of criminal responsibility is 15 and up to 18 are handled by social service oriented system with invocation of incarceration only as a last resort.
Children of under 18 years of age are considered to be minors for the purposes
of criminal law.
Minimum age of criminal responsibility is 7 but efforts under way to raise it to 10.
Different provisions in the criminal code deal with children from 7(10) to 15, and from 15 to 18.
Longest sentence for 15-18 year olds is one year
Countries around the world are re-examining their minimum ages for criminal responsibility
The gov'ts reaction to serious/heinous crimes committed by minors is a re-focus on the age of criminal responsibility
The age of criminal responsibility in the U.S. is determined/set by the individual states
The majority of states in the U.S. have no set minimum age of criminal responsibility
The Swiss juvenile justice system severely limits incarceration for minors
The Beijing rules provide guidance for setting the age of criminal responsibility without advocating a specific age.
Heinous crimes committed by children are not new but more publicized today.