The Age of Criminal Responsibility

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The age of criminal responsibility is the age below which is deemed incapable of having committed a criminal offence. The age of criminal responsibility in NSW is 10, no one under 10 can be charged with a crime. This is usually extended to 14.

Doli incapax refers to a presumption that a child is "incapable of crime" under legislation or common law. Also, the presumption that a child cannot form Mens Rea as they do not yet have a sufficient understanding between right and wrong.

In some cases, children get away with crime. The death of Corey Davis, a six-year-old boy, who was allegedly thrown. The ten-year-old boy told the police, "Yeah, I pushed him in, so what?" Which implies that he either shows no remorse or he doesn't know the seriousness of what he has done. Either way, the boy was charged with manslaughter. Although, the jury has accused the boy not guilty. In my opinion, justice has not been attained.

Others argue that adults are acquitted from criminal serious offences if it is found through a successfully argued defence that they did not have the necessary mens rea, so it is inconsistent to treat children more harshly. Young offenders are more likely to be intimidated by, and less likely to understand, court procedure than adults. Children are treated differently by the law because they are vulnerable and have a greater chance of rehabilitating and becoming responsible citizens. When being questioned or arrested, children have the same rights as adults, except that they have extra protections that adults do not have. Most are contained in the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2003 (NSW), some of them are :  A parent or guardian must be notified if a child is taken into custody by the police Children in police custody must not be kept in the same cell as an adult Police may not take a bodily sample, such as blood or hair, from a child without a court order. Although, some laws regarding police enforcement may have an unfair impact...
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