Becroft reckons we are too young and impulsive at age 17 to be treated as adults in court – but we are fit to vote at age 16

The recently launched ‘Make It 16’ campaign – aimed at lowering the voting age in New Zealand to 16 – has support from Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.

Becroft said lowering the voting age would enhance turnout, ingrain the habit of voting and uphold young people’s rights.

If this be so, why stop at 16?

Becroft says

“Children and young people have the right to have their voices heard and taken into account.”

This suggests there should be no age limit.

He further says:

“We grey-haired old men and women need to know the world’s a changing place.”

“Young people are much more alive to the issues. They are much more schooled-up on the issues.”

The same Andrew Becroft, when he was Principal Youth Court Judge, welcomed legislation mooted in 2007  to raise the minimum age from 17 to 18 for an offender to be dealt with in adult courts.  He said this would fulfil international obligations and bring New Zealand into line with other developed countries.

In 2016 Becroft set out “six great reasons 17-year-olds should be included in the youth justice system”.

Among the reasons:  It is the best way to change behaviour

“We know that the parts of the brain that control logic and judgement are still developing at 17. A young person’s ability to control impulses and rationally think through consequences is poor.”

So they are too young, at age 17, to be held to account for criminal behaviour in an adult court because they can\t control their impulses or rationally think through the consequences.

But those behavioural shortcomings are not an obstacle to their deciding who should govern the country and make laws.

Go figure

3 thoughts on “Becroft reckons we are too young and impulsive at age 17 to be treated as adults in court – but we are fit to vote at age 16

  1. A couple of points. The UN Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (a part of the Convention on the Rights of the Child) says that States agree to: 1) prohibit the conscription into the military of children under the age of 18; 2) ensure that military recruits are no younger than 16; and 3) prevent recruits aged 16 or 17 from taking a direct part in hostilities.

    In our own legislation – the Defence Act 1990 s.33 “no person who is under 17 years may be appointed to, or enlisted or engaged in, [the Services].” Of course Parliament can change this at will …
    However, if the UN doesn’t allow those under 18 to fight in the military, how can we possibly conceive that such youth are mature enough to elect a government that may wish to send its citizens into conflict?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is evidence that our unelected CoL will stay in power at all costs. After seeing their behaviour regarding little kids striking for climate change it makes me sure they are more corrupt than any of the African countries we malign.
    What really irlks me is drivers of these little kids are none other than unionised teachers who are using their positions to sate their vile left-wing ideology.

    Like

    1. This is evidence that our unelected CoL will stay in power at all costs. After seeing their behaviour regarding little kids striking for climate change it makes me sure they are more corrupt than any of the African countries we malign.
      What really irks me is drivers of these little kids are none other than unionised teachers who are using their positions to sate their vile left-wing ideology.
      Becroft, once again, shows he is unfit for the over-salaried position he is troughing in.

      Like

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