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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland: law reform at last?
Authors: Sutherland, Elaine E
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Keywords: minimum age of criminal responsibility
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Queen's University Belfast, School of Law
Citation: Sutherland EE (2016) Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland: law reform at last?, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 67 (3), pp. 387-406.
Abstract: Children in Scotland are held criminally responsible from the age of 8, something that has attracted wholly-justified criticism within the country and from international organisations including the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Despite the fact that this puts Scots law in the same camp as some of the world’s least progressive regimes, proposals to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility have, to date, been rejected. For the second time this century, a government-appointed advisory group recently recommended raising the age to 12. Setting the minimum age of criminal responsibility, in Scotland, in the context of historical, international and comparative developments and the burgeoning contemporary literature, this article argues that the climate for change has never been better. It predicts that, this time, the advisory group’s recommendation will result in legislative reform and highlights the challenges that will result.
Type: Journal Article
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. To be published in Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly by Queen's University Belfast.
Affiliation: Law

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