China has begun to combat juvenile delinquency committed by children, reducing the age of criminal responsibility for some serious crimes from 14 to 12
Beijing-China has lowered the age of criminal responsibility for some serious crimes from 1
According to the revised law, children between the ages of 12 and 14 will be held criminally responsible for “intentional homicide or intentional injury, death by extremely cruel means, or other serious disability”.
The amendment was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislature, on Saturday and will take effect on March 1.
In addition to the crimes mentioned in the newly revised law, offenders under the age of 14 will be exempt from criminal punishment, but can receive corrective education.
At present, the age of criminal responsibility in China is 16 years old, and people between 14 and 16 years old are criminally responsible for serious crimes such as rape, robbery and intentional homicide.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s highest procuratorate, said in a white paper released in June that the amendment to the law was made in the context of an increase in juvenile crime from 2018 to 2019.
In the past, minors who committed serious crimes were punished leniently, which aroused public outrage.
In one example, a 13-year-old boy from the northern city of Dalian received only three years of corrective education after being convicted of murdering a 10-year-old girl in October 2019, which triggered amendments to the legislation and stricter regulations. Call for the punishment of minors who commit such crimes.