State Government Proposing Changes to the Age of Criminal Responsibility

From 10 to 14-years-old

Article heading image for State Government Proposing Changes to the Age of Criminal Responsibility

The Queensland Labor party is proposing changes to the age of criminal responsibility increasing it from ten to 14-years-old.

The proposal is a part of the amendments to Labor’s 2021 State Platform, which will be taken to state conference in June.

It comes after almost 50 groups representing lawyers, doctors, and Indigenous communities made submissions to the attorneys-general review asking for the law to change.

The submission highlights statistics that children incarcerated at a young age are more likely to get caught up in the criminal justice system.


The proposed changes follow the launch of Queensland's controversial trial targeting repeat youth offenders aged 16 and 17, by fitting them with GPS tacking devices.

Aimed at 400 repeat offenders, most of whom are Indigenous and allegedly responsible for almost half of the state's youth crime, advocates are concerned the government’s youth crime crackdown is a “knee-jerk” reaction and could lead to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being disproportionately affected.

There has also been a push nationwide to change the law to 14-years-old in alignment with the international age of criminal responsibility.

The Australian Capital Territory is the only Australian state or territory that is currently working to raise the age.

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25 May 2021

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