National Security Minister, Victor La Corbiniere, has said that many minors today are fully aware of their actions.
La Corbiniers against the backdrop of the arrest of a sixteen year old female who was charged with non-capital murder in the death of Bagatelle resident, Paul St Rose, 57.
St Rose was found in a pool of blood at his home late last month.
The case has highlighted discrepancies in Saint Lucia’s domestic laws relating to the definition of a minor, and the definition enshrined in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Saint Lucia is a signatory to the convention which holds that a child is below the age of eighteen.
However from the age of twelve, local legislation allows an individual to be held liable for a criminal offence.
The National Security Minister has recalled that there have been incidents here were minors were very actively involved in a lot of the gang violence and killings that have taken place locally.
La Corbiniere observed that some of them are awaiting trial at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
“I think it is something you have to think out it, because is not simply a matter of what the international community says,” the Minister asserted.
An Attorney by profession, La Corbiniere declared that Saint Lucia is clearly bound by international conventions.
However he observed that as a country, Saint Lucia has a right as a country to tell international community that it was time to re-examine the issue, to determine whether what obtained in the past is still relevant.
La Corbiniere said:
“Many of these minors are far more mature, they understand fully what they are doing at an earlier and earlier age. Yes we have to protect them beyond a certain point, but the issue is what is that point?”
“Should we move that point lower? My own sense is that it is probably not the time to move it up the line because of what I am seeing.”
He asserted that youngsters are really maturing at an earlier age.