CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY — MINIMUM AGE
472. Hon SOPHIA MOERMOND to the parliamentary secretary
representing the Attorney General:
refer the Attorney General to an article titled ''The Child Inside: In
Australia, We Prosecute 10-Year-Olds, Especially If They're
Black'' by Warwick Jones published on New Matilda on 28 June 2020.
(1) Does the
Attorney General support legislation in favour of increasing the minimum age of
(2) Does the state government have
any plans to increase this beyond 14 years of age?
MATTHEW SWINBOURN replied:
I thank the member for some notice
of the question. I provide the following response on behalf of the Attorney General.
(1) The Attorney General
is proud to have placed the question of raising the minimum age of criminal
responsibility on the agenda of the former Council of Attorneys General. The
honourable member may be aware that due to the Attorney General's
advocacy, Western Australia chaired a cross-jurisdictional working group that
examined this issue on behalf of CAG. Any changes would require resources and
careful consideration to ensure that the small number of children who exhibit
serious offending at a young age can be properly managed outside the criminal
justice system. The WA government already diverts young people away from the
criminal justice system when reasonable.