(148)  Age of criminal responsibility

No child under the age of 12 should face prosecution in court, the Scottish Law Commission has recommended. In a report on the age of criminal responsibility the Commission says it has set the limit at an age when a child has sufficient maturity to understand court proceedings. A higher limit of 16 was rejected because, even though prosecutions in this age range are rare, they can be in the public interest. Children committing offences are in practice generally referred to the Children’s Hearing system.