THAILAND SET TO RAISE THE MINIMUM AGE FOR JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT

Thailand’s House of Representatives has voted to accept a bill seeking to amend the Criminal Code to exempt children under 12 from legal punishment for committing offences and a 39-member committee was set up to scrutinize the changes.

The bill seeks to amend Section 73 of the Criminal Code, to raise the minimum age for legal punishment from 10 to 12, as children aged 7-12 have yet to reach full cognitive maturity, lack a moral sense of right and wrong and cannot necessarily predict the outcome of their actions.

The bill reasons that young children who commit offences tend to repeat them. If they are subjected to judicial proceedings prematurely, this could have a negative impact on their ability to reintegrate into society.

According to the bill, raising the minimum age to 12 will reduce the number of children facing legal proceedings, and other measures will be adopted to correct their behavior.