McArthur: Criminalising 8-year-olds "destructive"

Following the publication of the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:

"During the last Parliament, SNP ministers twice voted down Liberal Democrat attempts to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12. By introducing this Bill, Ministers have performed a very welcome u-turn away from a Victorian attitude to justice that was entirely at odds with our understanding of children's development.

Mr McArthur added:

"Scotland has been repeatedly condemned, not least by the UN, for criminalising children as young as 8. There is no justification for giving an 8-year-old a criminal record that they have to declare for the rest of their lives, destroying their chance of getting on.

"The Bill published today must help bring to an end this destructive approach and ensure authorities focus on the source of children's disturbing behaviour, such as trauma or abuse."

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