Commenting on the Equality & Human Rights Committee’s decision to reject Scottish Liberal Democrats proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility beyond 12, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
“The Scottish Government has found itself firmly on the wrong side of history and human rights. I can only assume it is terrified of losing favour with some aspect of its already fragile base.
“The Minister is still pretending this bill is worth celebrating but the sombre mood of the Committee says otherwise. The SNP should never speak of this bill with pride.
“Refusing the meet international recommendations sets back our ability to act as a children’s rights leader on the world stage. Scotland cannot lean on some sense of self-perceived exceptionalism. It has twice been pointed out that every country has unique and progressive ways of dealing with young people. While our children’s hearing system is something we should be proud of it doesn’t mean we get to bypass international minimums.
“We cannot lead the world from the back of the pack.”