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Beijing has decided to lower the age of criminal responsibility, making children as young as 12 years old liable for “abominable” crimes, such as murder, grievous bodily harm and other extreme violence.

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted for the new provision on Saturday. The changes to the country’s criminal code are set to take effect on March 1 next year.

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Until now, China’s age of criminal liability for most offenses has stood at 16 years. However, children who have committed grave crimes such as premeditated murder are already held accountable starting from the age of 14. The move has reportedly been prompted by a rise in juvenile crime that the country experienced from 2018 to 2019.

Before this spike, crime rates among children had been gradually falling for some five years. Crimes of choice among the offenders aged under 14 included theft, robbery, intentional injury and even rape, according to a report released in June by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The change in the country’s laws brings China closer to the countries with the lowest age of criminal responsibility. In England and Wales, for instance, children can get prosecuted starting from the age of 10. Laws in Thailand are even more strict, as young offenders can appear before court upon reaching just seven years of age.

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Beijing has decided to lower the age of criminal responsibility, making children as young as 12 years old liable for “abominable” crimes, such as murder, grievous bodily harm and other extreme violence.

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted for the new provision on Saturday. The changes to the country’s criminal code are set to take effect on March 1 next year.

Also on rt.com
Illustration: © FirminoGennarino from Pixabay
Police search Baltimore family’s home after BB gun spotted in 11yo child’s online class

Until now, China’s age of criminal liability for most offenses has stood at 16 years. However, children who have committed grave crimes such as premeditated murder are already held accountable starting from the age of 14. The move has reportedly been prompted by a rise in juvenile crime that the country experienced from 2018 to 2019.

Before this spike, crime rates among children had been gradually falling for some five years. Crimes of choice among the offenders aged under 14 included theft, robbery, intentional injury and even rape, according to a report released in June by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The change in the country’s laws brings China closer to the countries with the lowest age of criminal responsibility. In England and Wales, for instance, children can get prosecuted starting from the age of 10. Laws in Thailand are even more strict, as young offenders can appear before court upon reaching just seven years of age.

Also on rt.com
Takahiro Shiraishi in November 2017. ©Kyodo via REUTERS
Japan’s ‘Twitter killer’, who preyed on users sharing suicidal thoughts online & dismembered victims’ bodies, sentenced to death

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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