LAW        IRE      PROGECT



 My Topic: The right age that can be

charged with the criminal offence.






  By Niya Sang

                                                                                   Jan 18, 2007

1. Why chose this topic?

          When choosing this topic, I was influenced by Vic Toews’s report (Vic Toews is the Member of Parliament MP for Provencher and the Minister of Justice for the Government of Canada). In his report, he expressed his opinions about youth crime. He said it is necessary to lower the age of criminal responsibility. This reminds me to look back to all the records for youth crime of Canada in the past 5 years. From the data, I found there is an obviously phenomenon, that is, the age of youth crime is getting lower and lower than before. So here comes the question: do we need to set a new age for young people to commit an offence? And later on I read a piece of news on BBC. In the news the reporter pointed out England and Wales used to set the age to commit an offence at the age of 10. But later the public started to argue about the age. Most of them think they should move the age up to 14. So we can see now there are two opposite sides of arguments about the age issue of criminal responsibility. For myself, I personally think the government of Canada should lower the age of criminal responsibility. As a result I got my topic for IRE project, that is, to find out the reasonable age of criminal responsibly.

2. How I “designed” my thesis statement?

         Based on my research, I think that my main focus should be on the right age barrier for young people to commit an offence. As we know now the Youth Criminal Justice Act governs the actions of young people aged 12 to 18. There is a presumption that a child under the age 12 cannot form the mental element of a criminal offence, and therefore they cannot be charged with a criminal offence. But the thing is that we can see nowadays many youth crime cases happen in younger kids group more often. So for this reason, I think I am going to challenge the age barrier that the government of Canada set for youth crime. Then I come up with my thesis statement, that is------

        The criminal law states that children under 12 cannot be charged with the criminal offence. This age is now inappropriate due to the lowing of the age of maturity.

 3. How I went on designing my questions?

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        In order to support my thesis statement, I think my questions should be mainly focus on the age issue in my survey. The most important thing is that my questions should be acceptable to each age group. To get result, my questions can lead my sample group to really understand my statement little by little. And I want to let them know the phenomenon that the age of youth crime cases are getting lower is because of lowing age of maturity.

 4. A critique of my ...

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