24 January 2024
The Greens have welcomed the State Government’s release of a discussion paper on raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years old but say that the Government should commit to raise the age to 14 in line with international standards.
“While this is a welcome first step, the Government must go further and commit to raising the age to 14. Both the ACT and Victoria have made this commitment. Twelve simply isn’t good enough and falls short of the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child,” said Greens Justice Spokesperson Robert Simms MLC.
“While a discussion paper on this important topic is of course welcome, the Government must bring legislation to the Parliament as soon as possible.”
“In South Australia, children continue to languish in prisons, exposing them to trauma and harm and pushing them down a path that often leads to criminal behaviour in adulthood. The State Government must step up and commit to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14.”
Mr Simms has a Bill before parliament to raise the age of criminal responsibility in South Australia from 10 to 14. In 2022, a petition with more than 11,000 signatures was presented to Attorney-General Kyam Maher in support of the reform.