In Scotland, the age of criminal responsibility, at 8 years old, is amongst the very lowest in Europe.
Last year, an expert Advisory Group was convened to examine the possible implications of raising that age. Reporting back to Scottish Ministers in March 2016, the Advisory Group’s key finding was that the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland should be raised to 12 years old ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
The report’s authors found that criminalising children at a very young age had the potential to severely restrict their life chances well into adulthood. Recent research carried out by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, published alongside the Advisory Group’s report, found that the vast majority of 8-11 year olds who were referred to the Children’s Reporter on offence grounds also had significant welfare needs. Rarely did a young child demonstrate harmful behaviour, without first having been harmed themselves.
The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland has organised this free half-day seminar on Tuesday 31 May from 12.15pm to 4.45pm to bring together the key authors of the Advisory Group report to discuss their findings and look ahead to how we might best approach children’s harmful behaviour in future.
Confirmed speakers include:
Claire Lightowler, from the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice.
Malcolm Schaffer, from the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA)
Gerry Hart, from Disclosure Scotland
Pauline McIntyre from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
Juliet Harris from Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
Spaces are limited, so to reserve your space at the seminar, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be provided. Please advise if you have any dietary and/or access requirements.
Further information is available from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland website.