Saturday 21 April 2018

Children under 12 only face full rigours of law in rare cases

Former children’s minister Brian Lenihan ensured legislation included an exception in the case of 10 and 11-year-olds charged with murder, manslaughter, rape or aggravated sexual assault. Picture: Maxpix
Former children’s minister Brian Lenihan ensured legislation included an exception in the case of 10 and 11-year-olds charged with murder, manslaughter, rape or aggravated sexual assault. Picture: Maxpix

Tom Tuite

Children as young as 10 can face a criminal investigation and the full rigours of the law - but only for a rare number of the most serious offences including rape and murder.

The topic of criminal responsibility but has become a talking point following claims that a nine-year-old girl was raped by an 11-year-old boy last Sunday.

It also coincides with a time when Ireland's need for a proper conversation on how to educate young people on the issue of sexual consent and the question of how to protect children from explicit material online has come to the forefront of debate.

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