National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has called for the age of criminal responsibility in the Caricom group to be standardized.
The Minister’s comments follow reports that the government of Antigua & Barbuda has discussed with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), plans to push the age of criminal responsibility, now at eight years, up to the age of twelve, which is on par with Saint Lucia.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines the age of criminal responsibility is eight, while in Guyana it is ten, according to Child Rights International Network.
“I think it is time that Caricom takes an approach that is holistic so that all the Caricom countries have similar legislation that is standard,” Hermangild Francis told the Times.
He asserted that standardized legislation would make it easy for Prosecutors and other legal persons.
The National Security Minister told the Times he believes that currently, having twelve as the age of criminal responsibility in Saint Lucia is “good enough” for now.
In the case of Antigua & Barbuda, UNICEF has expressed the hope that the age of criminal responsibility will eventually be set at sixteen years.