Queensland Bill Proposes Lifting Age of Criminal Responsibility to 14

A new bill will go before the Queensland state parliament on Wednesday proposing to lift the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age. The new legislation will bring the Australian state’s standard in line with the United Nations’ recommended age for prosecution. Michael Berkman, Greens member of Parliament will introduce the private member’s bill, according to “Queensland’s laws, which imprison children as young as 10, are out of line with international jurisdictions, they’re in breach of our human rights obligations and they’re not even keeping the community safe,” Berkman told NCA NewsWire. “Medical evidence shows 10-13 year-olds don’t have the neurodevelopmental capacity to control impulses, or foresee and understand consequences, so criminalising them like adults doesn’t work. “Early contact with the criminal legal system actually increases a child’s likelihood of reoffending. We need to invest in solutions that work, not more prison cells,” he said. …

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