The Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility in ASEAN: Legal and Human Rights Perspectives

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Research on the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) of children has been quite evident in the past decade. Determining the MACR of children is a challenge to the global perception to children's rights. The challenge is associated with ideological differences concerning concepts of the MACR by States based on social, religious and cultural structures. The concept of the MACR has evolved over history and has been interpreted in various ways with the absence of a precise definition by different worldviews. The MACR of children is significant because of its relevancy to one of the fundamental rights of the child. The MACR of children is the lowest statutory age at which children may potentially be held criminally liable for infringements of the penal law in a given State. The present article seeks to examine the MACR of children in Member States of the ASEAN and also as the signitories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This article adopts the legal and human rights analyses on the MACR of children from domestic legislations of ASEAN Member States such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The results of this analysis can be used to find the standards MACR of children in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.


Rohaida Nordin, Shohreh Mousavi

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