What happens when children commit crimes in Germany? | Culture and Society -

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Raises children to torture Others, assassinated or raped by sharp controversy, also because a person under the age of 14 in Germany can not be held under German law criminal liability, and therefore can not be tried. After discovering that three at the age of 14 and two at the age of 12 in the town of Mulheim on the Ruhr raped a woman, now some are calling for a reduction in the age of criminal responsibility. But this could be seen as a way out the problem? Are children who commit crimes in Germany virtually without any consequences? What happens with juvenile offenders at the age of criminal responsibility?

Offenders under 14 years of age

A person who has not yet reached the age of 14 years, in Germany under paragraph 19 of the Criminal Code, is not liable for criminal responsibility. Means that the question of whether a person has a criminal responsibility does not arise originally. But the lack of punitive measures does not mean that perpetrators under 14 years of age remain without a penalty at all.

Jugendgewalt Symbolbild (picture-alliance / dpa)

Police officers deal with the young perpetrators with caution

In terms of civil law, a 14-year-old can be held liable and forced to pay money to compensate for pain or compensation for injury, because in the civil law that frames legal relations between persons, age limits are of another composition. From the age of seven, the child may be held responsible for the damage caused. When it is understood at the moment of committing the misdemeanor that his behavior is harmful. If the child can not be held responsible, the parents will bear it. They bear responsibility when they breach the duty of control. In the case of alleged rape in the town of Mulheim, the accused or their parents may bear the costs of treatment and treatment for the victim.

In the framework of the care of children and young people, educational measures and assistance can be imposed under the supervision of the youth. Under certain conditions, it is also possible to withdraw the right of care from parents to a child who has committed a misdemeanor and to transfer it to another foster family or to be housed in a nursery. If a specialist admits a psychiatric disorder, in difficult cases the judge may order the child to be referred to a psychiatric hospital for children and young people. This decision would be tantamount to deprivation of liberty and a judicial sentence even if the aim here is not punishment, but treatment of a person who has not attained the age of majority.

Offenders under 14 years of age

Youth at age 14 The legislator believes that they are initially able to know the consequences of their work so that they can be held criminally responsible not under the general criminal law, but in accordance with the reduced criminal law on youth. In this context, the educational goal remains at the top of the mind and therefore the prison sentences are possible within it, but they are lighter than those imposed on adults. In addition, educational procedures such as social work hours and safety measures can be enforced. The youth criminal code is applicable to persons up to the age of 17 and in doubt also until the age of 21. The possibilities of civil legal conviction and care procedures remain possible for youth who are criminally responsible.

Is criminal responsibility starting at the age of fourteen feasible?

A 14-year age limit is not scientifically justified, but rather a legal legal definition of the legislator. In other countries, children and young people (in Britain at the age of 10) or later (in Portugal with the age of 16) have criminal responsibility. The United Nations suggests that the minimum age of criminal responsibility under the age of 12 be not set.

Those who are now calling for a reduction in the age of criminal responsibility must take into account something important. Wherever this age limit is concrete, there will always be situations that lead to consequences that remain in the eyes of public opinion. There are also no signs that stronger action will reduce the number of crimes among young people. The social benefits of "arrest", especially for young people, remain controversial.

Ins Isle / MAM

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