Buried By Brexit: But What About The Children?

Finally, the report raises a range of concerns about the treatment of children who are accused of criminal offences, in particular the over-use of custody and the very low age of criminal responsibility, which at ten is the lowest in Europe, far lower than several states the western media frequently invites us to construct as harshly governed; examples include Russia (sixteen), Egypt (fifteen) and Turkey (twelve). This is a relatively recent development, as prior to 1998, England required a judge to investigate whether a child between ten and fourteen fully understood the implications of his/her actions before proceeding to trial. Societies such as the Scandinavian nations with much a higher age of criminal responsibility (fifteen) are not, as Home Secretary 1997-2001 Jack Straw would have had us believe, over-run with young offenders; they operate a non-criminalising early intervention system and have been rewarded with much lower numbers of persistent youth offenders than the UK .