Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility as Part of Criminal Policies
Keywords:juvenile delinquency, peer violence, MACR, penal policy, criminal policy
The increase in peer violence and juvenile delinquency from year to year has kept the question of minimum age of criminal responsibility open around the world. States, not only in different parts of the world, but also within smaller regions territorially connecting them, have been developing various criminal legal responses to this question. Reasons behind such a variety lie in circumstances of economic, social, cultural, religious, political, and even political nature. In theory and practice, two opposing concepts can be distinguished – the so-called repressive and holistic concepts. Advocates of the first concept believe that a strict criminal policy is the safest way toward decreasing criminality among children and minors. On the other side, supporters of the holistic approach believe children in early age cannot understand the meaning of their actions, that is why lowering the age of criminal responsibility would introduce children to the criminal legal system too early when society could take timely measures that would prevent children from adopting a criminal pattern of behaviour. Using the comparative law method, as well as other qualitative and quantitative methods necessary for a productive analysis and deduction of valid conclusions, in this paper we aim to point up key aspects of the differences between the repressive and holistic approach to determining the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The final result is a firmly established belief that it is necessary to give advantage to the approach that does not see the children and minors drawn into the criminal milieu as part of the problem but as part of the solution.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Darko Marković, Ivana Spaić
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