The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

1682 Words Nov 1st, 2015 7 Pages
Introduction
The purpose of this report is to understand the age of criminal responsibility in both England and Singapore. The report will include a comparative study on both countries, whilst evaluating the impact each criminal system has on the child. The main focus will be upon the key policies and legal frameworks emplace to support the imprisonment and punishment of children and young people.
The definition for the age of criminal responsibility is disputed worldwide, however according to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children criminal responsibility is defined as when a child is considered capable of committing a crime and old enough to stand trial and be convicted of a criminal offence (NSPCC, 2015). In correspondence to this, legislation also requires that to prove an individual’s criminal capacity there must be evidence that the child can differentiate right from wrong at the time of the alleged offence and that the youth justice court shall act in accordance with that appreciation (Republic of South Africa, 2008, s. 11(1)). Nevertheless, a key principle is that the best interests of the child must always be the primary consideration and that custody should only be used as a last resort (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989).
Criminal Age
Currently the minimum age of criminal responsibility is set in England and Wales at 10 years of age (Children and Young Persons Act 1963). Although during previous years this age has…
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