Age of Innocence: Children and Criminal Responsibility
Forum held: 25 February 2021. Recording available here.
In every Australian jurisdiction, children as young as 10 can be held criminally responsible for their behaviour. This means they can be arrested, and even imprisoned. Whether this is in the best interests of children, and the community, is increasingly being questioned, and the United Nations has called for Australia to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.
Join us to explore what raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility might mean for Tasmania, including a discussion of alternative ways to address children’s problematic behaviour, meet their underlying needs and promote community safety.
An expert panel of practitioners and academics drawn from law, police, health, and community services will discuss issues and take audience questions.
Presenter(s): Donna Adams, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police; Rodney Dillon, Indigenous Advisor, Amnesty International Australia; Alan Hensley, Associate Director (Crime), Tasmania Legal Aid; Michael Hill, Former Chief Magistrate; Leanne McLean, Commissioner for Children and Young People; Dr Georgina O’Donnell, Forensic and Clinical Psychologist; Moderated by Associate Professor Sonya Stanford.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People intends providing advice to the Tasmanian Government on the issue of the minimum age of criminal responsibility. To inform that advice, the Commissioner is seeking the views of individuals and organisations with relevant expertise, knowledge, experience and/or interest on what raising the minimum age might mean for Tasmania.
Take part in the survey on what raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility means for Tasmania
Closing date 30 April
The Commissioner for Children and Young People has prepared a background paper to help frame the panel discussion and inform broader community debate on this topic.