The ACT's minimum age of criminal responsibility will rise to 12 after legislation passed the territory's Legislative Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
The age of responsibility will rise again to 14 on July 1, 2025, however those aged 12 and 13 could still be charged with serious crimes such as sexual offences and murder.
NSWCCL applaudes the ACT for this change, and we hope that the government follows the evidence and ultimately raises the age to fourteen. When a child behaves in a way that is dangerous to themself or others, they need proven, child-centred interventions and supports that give better outcomes for the child and their community. Locking a child in gaol is not the answer. Criminalising children causes them harm and what we do now hurts kids, families and communities.
In the ACT Shadow attorney-general Peter Cain moved amendments to only increase the age to 12 and to include an independent statutory review in the legislation in two years to explore whether it should increase to 14. However, the Liberals only support raising the age to 12.
We support unequivocally, rasing the age of criminal responsiblity to 14. You can join our campaign here.