The advice in this report was sought by the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP).
The report considers legal, and in particular law reform, implications of raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) in Tasmania from its present statutory prescription of 10 years old (with a 14-year-old presumption of doli incapax or criminal incapacity).
The scope of this report is limited to the following questions, with the third specifying the nature of recommendations to be made.
- How has the issue of MACR and the balancing of community versus individual rights and interests been approached in other jurisdictions?
- What options are there for an alternative legal framework to ensure children who exhibit harmful behaviours receive appropriate community support directed at addressing the risk factors for their behaviour?
- If the MACR is raised in Tasmania what, if any, additional law reform would be required to ensure community safety and promote the wellbeing of those children aged less than the MACR who exhibit harmful behaviours?