Gov't Wants to Lower Age of Criminal Responsibility

Jay Yim, Jan. 16, 2020, 10:40 a.m.


The government wants to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility by one year from the current 14 to 13.

Currently juvenile offenders between 10 and 14 are only taken into care or let off with a slap on the wrist.

The Education Ministry on Wednesday announced a set of tougher measures aimed to stem rising school violence.

Under the new measures, even first-time violent offenders could be arrested for investigation and prosecuted in a bid to separate them quickly from their victims.

The plan reflects public concerns that juvenile crime is getting more violent. But there is opposition to the idea because lowering the minimum age would not help reduce juvenile delinquency.

In 2018, the National Human Rights Commission expressed its opposition to the Justice Ministry, saying the proportion of juvenile offenders under 14 has remained steady at a mere 0.1 to 0.5 percent of all juvenile crimes over the past decade.

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