Should the age of criminal responsibility be raised, or even lowered?
If you are at a criminally responsible age, then you can be put on trial and charged with crimes. The age is currently 10 in England however this age varies greatly all over the world. In Scotland it's 8, in France it's 17, in some US states it's 6 whilst in others it's 18.
Recently there have been calls for the age to be raised in the UK as it has one of the lowest criminal responsibility ages in Europe. While the age is currently 8 in Scotland, legislation is being passed to raise it up by four years.
The argument for raising the age:
By criminalising children, an already bad situation is made worse. If children are labeled as criminals early, will they grow up to become even worse criminals?
Are children who commit crime just victims of circumstances for the mostpart? Can we blame them for how/where they were brought up?
Children don't have the emotional maturity to be responsible for their actions to the law.
The argument against raising the age:
Children should be punished at an early age so as to learn the difference between right and wrong.
Children should know the difference between right and wrong.
By holding the child responsible possibly they could be rehabilitated. If children don't get punished early on, then will they continue to commit crime and become an even worse problem as they get older?
So what do you think? Should the age be raised? Or possibly even lowered?
This Debate will end on the 15/06/2011. Once the debate has ended the top contributer to this debate will recieve a month of VIP in a colour of their choice