Age of Criminal Responsibility in Scotland

Today (December 17, 2021) the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland has been raised from eight to 12 years old.

Whilst CYCJ welcomes this important change in the law, it recognises that there is still work that needs to happen to ensure Scotland is compliant with global children’s rights standards.

Fiona Dyer, Director of CYCJ, comments:

“As a centre that is focused on ensuring that Scotland’s approach to children and young people in conflict with the law is rights-respecting, we are pleased that this important Act has undergone commencement.

“Along with many others, we believe there is a strong argument for setting an age of criminal responsibility that is in line with the most progressive global Governments, alongside efforts to prevent criminalisation of all children.

“The change from eight years to 12 shows that we are making positive progress on this journey, and demonstrates how hard everyone involved has worked to make this happen. We will continue to support this commencement in every way we can.”

This guidance provides an explanation on this change to the law and what it means.

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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