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Question for the Japanese, Spanish and German





Da Rossa
It's been a recent discussion here in Brazil about the proposal to reduce from 18 to 16 the minimum age of criminal liability. I'm for it.

The people against it are mentioning those three countries as examples which have recently increased the age to 18 or even 20 years old.

1 - Is that true?
2 - If so, what were the reasons the Legislative found to adopt this new policy?

Thanks!
johans
oh... i am not part of those nationalities.

I guess i am not allowed to answer. then i just observed. Very Happy
Da Rossa
No, of course you qualify as long as you have confidence in your answer! Maybe you have lived in one of those countries or you're a student of international legal systems!
deanhills
Here is some literature I found but not on the countries mentioned by you. Quite a number of countries have a range in age, i.e. minimum age could be 12-18. Probably depending on the maturity of the child. I like the idea of a range as not all children are equal in age of criminal responsibility. I think it needs to be assessed depending on the maturity of the child. It could be anything from 12-18. Have a feeling Japan is on that score as well.

Here is a comparison between Japan and US. Note that crime is much lower in Japan - so I'd imagine in comparison with Brazil crime would be even lower. Japan is concerned about social issues and rehabilitating children:
http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Japan/United-States/Crime
http://www.hurights.or.jp/archives/focus/section2/2005/06/amending-the-juvenile-law-in-japan--ignoring-the-un-committee-on-the-rights-of-the-child-recommendations.html

Here is a case for increasing the minimum age in South East Asia:

http://www.unicef.org/rosa/Criminal_Responsibility_08July_05%28final_copy%29.pdf

Comparison article and fact sheet of Australia versus internationally:
http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129548536

This article looks analytically at how criminal responsibility should be assessed:
http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/897/thesis.pdf;jsessionid=625F386EB00FCD82884D7A2B7D3B45F7?sequence=1

Here is a general article about criminal age and prosecution practices:
http://www.penalreform.org/resource/justice-children-briefing-no4-minimum-age-criminal-responsibility/

This documents gives a comparison of minimum ages in all countries of the world - dated though - 2002:
http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docs/2003/appendices/030310minimumage.htm
Da Rossa
Dean, thanks for your contribution!

Out of curiosity: how long did you take to put together all those articles?

I'm still after the real minimum age for criminal responsibility in Japan... I see in repeated sources that "juveniles under 20 are tried in family court", but it doesn't say whether the penalties are less severe or whether they can be held liable at all...
deanhills
Da Rossa wrote:
Dean, thanks for your contribution!

Out of curiosity: how long did you take to put together all those articles?

I'm still after the real minimum age for criminal responsibility in Japan... I see in repeated sources that "juveniles under 20 are tried in family court", but it doesn't say whether the penalties are less severe or whether they can be held liable at all...
Well one thing I know for sure you haven't read the articles. Age of criminal responsibility in Japan is 14, however all those under twenty are tried in Family Courts rather than Criminal Courts. Those between 14 and 16 when convicted are put under the care of a probation officer and not incarcerated. Due to some recent violent crimes by children that has been amended. Depending on the "maturity" of the 14-16 child they can be tried in a criminal court now. The law works completely different in Japan, where there is less crime in comparison with any other countries of the world and criminal responsibility is judged by a different system. Crime has gone down in the last 10 years in Japan. Refer article below:
http://www.waseda.jp/flaw/icl/assets/uploads/2014/05/A02859211-00-000290001.pdf
Da Rossa
Thanks a lot, Dean.
Interesting enough, both the Brazilian and the Japanese criminal law systems have several influences from the German law!

So there is the answer: the "MACR" in Japan is 14 not 20. Well, at least as of 2009. The opposers of reduction here in Brazil are always vague, saying "recent reforms in the Spanish, German and Japanese legal systems adopted a higher age..."

Anyone else to say anything further about Spain or Germany?

Smile
deanhills
Da Rossa wrote:
Thanks a lot, Dean.
Interesting enough, both the Brazilian and the Japanese criminal law systems have several influences from the German law!

So there is the answer: the "MACR" in Japan is 14 not 20. Well, at least as of 2009. The opposers of reduction here in Brazil are always vague, saying "recent reforms in the Spanish, German and Japanese legal systems adopted a higher age..."

Anyone else to say anything further about Spain or Germany?

Smile
Right. That last link I sent sets out the German part of things. Just the implementation is slightly different. Technically speaking the age is 16 - or one can say 14-16. Depending on the crime. Those under 20 are heard by Family Courts (not Criminal Courts) depending on the severity of the crime as the Japan legal system is trying to do their best to save those under 20 from a life of crime befitting the Japanese culture. Culture in Brazil is different though and rate of crime in Brazil much higher. Probably time for them to work on something that fits Brazil rather than continue with German law.
Da Rossa
Actually, the criminal law here is not just German... there is a handful of German authors who influenced us, but there is also the criminology matter rather than the criminal law itself. And, unfortunately, there is a minority of "opinion makers" here which influence the Parliament so they'll hardly reduce the MACR, despite 87% of the Brazilians being favourable to it.
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