Protection of the child – protection of society. This has always been the case but renewed emphasis on legality has highlighted the ambiguity of the role of the local social services. In this chapter we give an overview of the youth justice system in Sweden, where different sets of legal rules are applied for persons under 15 years of age, between 15 and 17 years of age, and between 18 and 21 years of age. [Crime Prevention Council, Official Crime Statistics of Sweden]. The changes to the age of criminal responsibility in England over Evaluation of youth custody has shown that it has been used more frequently than expected, instead of both imprisonment and a probationary sentence. It is 10 in England and Wales, 14 in Germany and Japan, and in 33 states of the US there is no minimum age at all. The age of criminal responsibility is the age at which a person can be punished for an act that the law deems to be a criminal offence. Advocates have pointed to Norway, Finland and Sweden, where the age of criminal responsibility is set at 15, and Brazil, Peru and Uruguay, where it is set at 18. In Switzerland, children aged 10 and over are regarded as criminally responsible. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Proposition 1979/80:1 Socialtjänstlagen [Government Bill: The Social Services Act]. On the other hand, it is stressed by the government that young persons who commit crimes shall be kept outside the criminal justice system for as long as possible (Proposition 1997/98:96; SOU 2004:122). During the same period the use of surrender to special care by the court has increased from 35 to 54 per cent of all court decisions, and is now the most common sentence for young offenders between 15 and 17 years of age (BRÅ 2000b, Sweden’s official crime statistics). Stockholm: Norstedts. Children are brought before criminal court twice as often today, but the option of ‘no prosecution’ has decreased by nearly 50 per cent. The starting point should be discussion on raising it to 18, and we think the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be at least 16 in Scotland. Bramstång, G. (1964) Förutsättningar för barnavårdsnämnds ingripande mot asocial ungdom. The Criminal Code also contains general provisions on all offences, ... (the age of criminal responsibility is 14 in Germany, 15 in Sweden and 16 in Portugal). The issue of whether to lower the criminal age of responsibility came to the fore after a case last year in which a 13-year-old boy confessed to police that he had killed a 10-year-old girl. the age of criminal responsibility in organised thefts (Bell & Heathcote 1999, p. 4). Since 1999 this principle has been applied to a greater extent in the youth justice system as well, with the aim of bringing sanctions towards young people who offend more in line with the justice system for adults (Proposition 1997/98:96; SOU 2004:122). The average age of criminal responsibility in Scandinavia is 15. At the state level, 33 states set no minimum age of criminal responsibility, theoretically allowing a child to be sentenced to criminal penalties at any age [Cipriani,D. It is the local social services board – a municipal, political, organ – that decides about care for children and families according to the Social Services Act. This results in confusion for the children as well as social services as to the balance of care functions and punishment embodied in the institutional practices (Tärnfalk 2001). The Guardian view on the age of criminal responsibility: raise it now. The social services are, as mentioned above, obliged to submit a report concerning the young person to the prosecutor before a decision is taken as to whether or not to prosecute. changes can distance juveniles in trouble from ordinary child and family policy and social work, and separate them from the welfare domain. The preliminary investigation is an important element in both care and protection and the youth justice system (Proposition 1997/98:96; Clevesköld and Thunved 2001). It is the youngest age of criminality in all of Europe. Glerup Lund. Knutsson, J. This highlights the difficulties involved in correctly apprehending what are the responsibilities of the social services system when dealing with young offenders. Some Swedish criminological studies show that youth crime has both increased and become more violent since the 1970s, whereas others suggest little change since the Second World War (Ahlberg 1992; Knutsson 1993; Tham 1995). From the moment a crime is reported until the final decision has been taken, there is a long chain of events. This situation creates a difficult role for social workers, prosecutors and the courts when dealing with young offenders. The difficulty of reconciling these considerations is exacerbated by the timing of reports, as the report made by the social welfare officer is submitted to the prosecutor before the suspect’s guilt has been proved. The minimum time juveniles may serve in closed care is 14 days, and the maximum four years. In Sweden, the MACR is 15 and there is no juvenile court. <>/ExtGState<>/XObject<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/MediaBox[ 0 0 594.96 842.04] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> The prosecutor has a duty to complete the criminal investigation within six weeks, and sooner if possible. From the age of 15 years the minor is in principle treated in the same way as an adult. The Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (known as MACR) hasn’t changed in England or Wales since. This means that the court can decide to give the social services authorities the responsibility to provide care or treatment for the convicted young offender. A person should not be imprisoned before 21 years of age. Stockholm: Apropå 1. The age of criminal responsibility is the age below which a child is deemed incapable of having committed a criminal offence. An Interview Study]. The swings of the pendulum between different values and strategies used by the social services authorities and the justice systems – care, rehabilitation or sanctions – make an interesting study, but the consequences for young offenders are not easy to discern. Care and treatment used by the social services authorities have not been accepted as suitable in relation to criminal justice. 3 0 obj King, M. and Piper, C. (1995) How the Law Thinks about Children. After exploring the differences between young and adult offenders which underlie the welfare/justice clash, the project presents an in-depth investigation of the Swedish and the German juvenile criminal justice systems. Stockholm: Norstedts. The … If you have any question you can ask below or enter what you are looking for! Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Article 40 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) requires signatory states to: seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically As no country is perfect in terms of its use of statistics, it is difficult to compare nations in terms of official statistics (Barberet 2001; Estrada 1999, 2001; Hofer 1998). Studier kring 1902 års uppfostringslagar. This is rarely the main cause of the justice system’s involvement with youth, however (Finkelhore, Pascall and Hashima 2001). Stockholm: BRÅ-Apropå 5–6. 19, No. Today the age has been lowered to 18, but special circumstances still apply … Criminal responsibility starts at 14 in Germany, 15 in Sweden, 16 in Portugal and 18 in Luxembourg, The Guardian reports. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The youth justice system encompasses a broad range of perspectives on both welfare and justice, and these vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The internationally recognised minimum … below), and concerning sentencing for juveniles. [Criminal Code, Ch. Why our Sons Turn Violent and how We Can Save Them. Currently, the age of criminal liability in China is 16, but teenagers aged 14 to 16 can be charged and punished as criminals for serious crimes including intentional homicide, rape and robbery. The minimum time juveniles may serve in closed care is 14 days, and the maximum four years. They were produced within a set timeframe (October – November 2015) to assist the Scottish Government MACR Advisory Group in considering the policy, legislative and procedural implications of raising the MACR. Proposition 1996/97:124 Barnkonventionens införande i Socialtjänstlagen [Government Bill: Introducing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into the Social Services Act]. (2000) ‘“Children in need” or “young offenders”? In S. White (ed) Handbook of Youth and Justice. endobj They can be taken to court and convicted of crimes, receiving a criminal record. and Vinnerljung, B. E3록�|�$�0��=��O�5�����p�� /��(V�ˊ��>�Ì�7�4PD��d��ϽzZ�� |����\�iC�ڏ���X��C�rb�]�$���ө�\N&#Ё"�V%צ����q"a�T���A�"��QB���ɯ��-��$�%����ZB��Q��O����|�m��e�+�Qo�2�o�pu�����3&XB�[���Ӄ~ʼn�=��D|W�Q7��n.j�θ����5{d������ѯ��Rw�/��5}9�. In Välfärdstjänster i omvandling. Youth service is a form of programme with a restorative or rehabilitative purpose (CC31:1). Nordiskt Sosialt Arbeid 4, 194–201. Jareborg, N. and Zila, J. They are expected to prepare a report about the young offender to the prosecutor before the decision is made in court about both facts and, if proven, consequences (Proposition 1997/98:96). Lund: Diss. (1998) ‘Barns rätt att komma till tals – ökat inflytande för barn eller vuxna?’ [Children’s Right to be Heard – Greater Influence for Children or for Adults?] Sweden does not have special youth courts. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old. Sage Publications. Varför våra söner blir våldsamma och hur vi kan rädda dem. The age of criminal responsibility there is officially eight, but government rules say children under 12 will not be prosecuted. Offenders under age twenty are dealt with in regular criminal courts. (1992) ‘Myten om en minskande ungdomsbrottslighet.’ [The Myth about Decreasing Juvenile Criminality]. China has lowered the age of criminal responsibility to 12 from 14 for some serious crimes as it cracks down on a rise in juvenile crimes. x��[[oܶ~7���G�8�ŋH� �8i���HEڇ�V^�gW�JZ��g����V�2�n��.��pn���\�*��v���ŋ�Wu�H�%�ry�������>���X�Ţη�˗���+������GJ( BA�o��( �x���Q������w�YU�g!Y�ϻ�/�/��￘��Ih=������ނ�+%= 1�Z��է��~���E�=�ʃ���D��y�ʿ�^������9t�(�G�ա��P֛��A�`��E�~�"�N�z[���S~;��c-����W�P��Uk`�b$JD�H�F����?�h������AG@\�ZF$�x�Y�2�7[�I�I���)�J�$�"U�d3H�Aq;F�Π�z�� Criminal Responsibility. It seems more reasonable to interpret children’s competence according to their life conditions in that, for children as for adults, competence is a mutual question of how well one manages life. In ascertaining a child’s legal competence, it is a delicate task to find a balance that takes into account the child’s life situation, the crime committed and his or her need of protection and care. Children's Rights and the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility: A Global Perspective, Ashgate 2009, p. 221 and 222], though in most of these states a capacity related test is applied. In D. Victor (ed) Varning för straff. SOU 1993:35 Reaktion mot ungdomsbrott. It seems as if both the ideology, policy and practice is less interested in supporting children than accusing them, although this view is fundamentally against the principles on children in welfare and child protection legislation, and in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Goldson 2000; Levin 1996; Muncie 1999; Proposition 1997/98:96). There is an inherent conflict between the different systems in terms of how to deal with young offenders. The changes to the age of criminal responsibility in England over Copyright © 2013. Currently, the age of criminal liability in China is 16, but teenagers aged 14 to 16 can be charged and punished as criminals for serious crimes including intentional homicide, rape and robbery. Youth crime is very much a topic of discussion in public, political and legal debates both in Sweden and internationally. China has lowered the age of criminal responsibility for some serious crimes from 14 to 12, as it looks to combat juvenile crime committed by children. (see III. There are special demands on the investigator in youth cases to take account of the child and family circumstances (Section 2, 1st LUL (Act on Certain Provisions Concerning Youthful Offenders); Proposition 1994/95:12). Garbarino, J. The issue of whether to lower the criminal age of responsibility came to the fore after a case last year in which a 13-year-old boy confessed to police that he had killed a 10-year-old girl. [Upbringing and Punishment. (2018). (1999) Youth and Crime: A Critical Introduction. This means that children under 10 can’t be arrested or … Proposition 1987/88:120 Om ändring i brottsbalken, straffmätning och påföljdsval m.m. 15 Minimum Age. (2000) Straffrättens påföljdslära. The age of criminal liability is 15 and 21 was previously the year in which one came of age. The Swedish Criminal Code (brottsbalken, SFS 1962:700) was adopted in 1962 and entered into force on 1 January 1965. Estrada, F. (1999) Juvenile Crime Trends in Post-war Europe. This became evident from a recent study on how prosecutors and judges perceive the option of surrendering young offenders to special care by the social services. Hollander, A. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. endobj The definition of “young offenders” in Sweden is offenders who have reached the age of 15 but have not yet turned 21. There are situations, however, when parental participation can be prohibited by the investigator – for example, where there is a severe conflict between parent and child, or if the parents attempt to impede the investigation (Clevesköld and Thunved 2001). [Conditions for the Child Welfare Board to Intervene in the Case of Delinquent Youth]. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 23–42. In such situations the local social services board applies to the County Administrative Court to decide whether the conditions set out in the Compulsory Care Act have been fulfilled (Hollander 1985; Mattson 2002; Proposition 1989/90:28). The law states that young people over 12 years of age can be old enough to take responsibility. The child cannot stop a social worker being present at the investigation, as he/she is obliged, by law, to be there (Provision Act, Section 5). Raising the age in Australia has been hotly debated for years. Statens Institutionsstyrelse: Liber Stockholm. There are very strong restrictions on taking a child between 15 and 17 years of age into custody during a criminal investigation (Provision Act, Section 23). This has a dual function. These were based on the principle that the sentence must reflect the severity of the crime: the more reprehensible the crime, the harsher the punishment or sanction (Proposition 1987/88:120). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. The age of criminal responsibility. The Criminal Code requires the court to determine the nature and length of the social intervention according to the concept of culpability, the severity of the crime and the convicted person’s prior criminal record, if any (CC 31:1). Strong demands have been made for the social services authorities to follow new punitive strategies and standards concerning young offenders (Proposition 1997/98:96; Proposition 2002/03:53). Currently, the age of criminal liability in China is 16, but teenagers aged 14 to 16 can be charged and punished as criminals for serious crimes including intentional homicide, rape and robbery. Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik AB. Imprisonment for a young person between 18 and 21 is considered only for serious … [Difficulties in comparing international statistics]. , Organizational change and New Challenges for social work 5, 255–265 to measure [ Prevention... 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