Essay on The Age Of Criminal Responsibility Should Not Be Lifted

759 Words Sep 26th, 2014 4 Pages
In Australian courts, eighty-five percent of children under the age of fourteen charged with criminal offences are aged between twelve and fourteen (New South Wales Attorney-General’s Department, Criminal Law Review Division [CLRD], 1998, p.8.). Given these statistics, there should be consistency throughout Australia of the age at which a child can be held criminally responsible. Having a child go from one state, where he can be tried as a minor, to another, where he will feel the sufficient backlash of criminal prosecution as an adult is not only immoral, but also unjustified (Australia Law Reform Commission [ALRC].). Used only in severe or reoffending cases, criminal prosecution is just one aspect of youthful malpractice, leaving many other avenues of which a judge can lead the offender down. In this essay, it will be argued that the age of criminal responsibility should not be lifted, as Australian courts are successfully reducing child criminal activity through concentrating on rehabilitation and prevention. Evidence will be provided that children are being used by adults in gang related activities, as well as the many diverse ways in which the courts handle the cases of a minors.

Children under the age of criminal responsibility are often targeted by criminals to be exploited in organized thefts (Bell & Heathcote 1999, p. 4; Bourke & Bourke, 1995.). As young as twelve, children are being dragged into the criminal world, joining men and women up to twenty years…

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