An equality impact assessment (EQIA) was undertaken in connection with the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill to consider potential impacts across the protected characteristics for the provisions included in the Bill.
The Bill will make provision to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12. This means:
1. Children aged 8 to 11 involved in harmful behaviour will no longer be referred to a children’s hearing on the ground that they have committed an offence. The behaviour can still be dealt with one of the sixteen existing non-offence referral grounds.
2. No child will receive a criminal record for harmful behaviour committed when under 12.